It has been nearly six months since Sports Illustrated published a lengthy exposé on a corrosive culture towards women in the Dallas Mavericks’ workplace, and the franchise has still not released the results of its investigation. Anecdotally, it feels like a large portion of the sports viewing population has forgotten all about it.
On July 10th, Rachel Nichols asked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, at the 22-minute mark of this press conference in Las Vegas, about the status. “The last report I got, which was very recent, is that they expect to complete this investigation by the end of this month — by the end of July,” Silver responded.
If the investigation has been completed, it hasn’t been publicized. Mavericks spokesperson Sarah Melton said by email in May that they did not have a timetable to share at that point, and has not yet responded to a follow-up email sent Monday.
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I asked Jon Wertheim, who co-authored the SI story along with Jessica Luther, about his thoughts on how long this is taking. “On its face, I am surprised the investigation has taken this long,” Wertheim said. “But I’m inclined to reserve judgment until I see the substance. If the investigators have uncovered additional material or whistleblowers — or expanded their inquiry to the America Airlines Center — the timetable might well be validated.”
Wertheim also referred me to two columns he wrote for SI illustrating the “striking contrast” between how the Mavs and Panthers (Wertheim also covered Jerry Richardson’s malfeasances along with Viv Bernstein) handled their crises.
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The Mavericks fired their beat writer and head of human resources (the team’s former CEO, Terdema Ussery, who was named as a serial harasser in the story, left the franchise for Under Armour in 2015). Mark Cuban made himself available on the phone quickly for SI’s story. Players on the Mavs reacted in horror about the allegations; Cam Newton defended Jerry Richardson.
Richardson never cooperated at all with SI’s story or the NFL’s “investigation” (which is in air quotes because of that, and because multiple women who worked for the Panthers were not guaranteed to be let out of nondisclosure agreements they signed and thus also did not speak with investigators). Instead, Richardson sold the team, under the condition that his statue remain outside the Panthers’ stadium.
Presumably, the Mavs’ investigation will be released soon, and at that point we can evaluate its findings.