- Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have been petitioned for documents and deposition concerning a potential lawsuit over racial discrimination, according to a report.
- A former employee of the Arena Operating Company, which runs the Dallas Mavericks’ American Airlines Center, accused Cuban of failing to take action after a noose was found in a closet at the arena in 2011.
- According to the report, the woman says AOC fired her after she complained of discrimination, pay inequality, harassment, and bullying during her time with the company.
- When reached for comment, Cuban told Business Insider that he did not know Newsome and is not involved in the operations of the American Airlines Center.
- The petition comes on the heels of reports of a toxic culture and sexual harassment within the Dallas Mavericks’ organisation.
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have been petitioned for documents and deposition in consideration of a potential lawsuit over racial discrimination, according to USA Today’s Rachel Axon and Jeff Zillgitt.
According to the report, Michelle Newsome, a former employee of Arena Operating Company, claimed that Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, tried to ignore a 2011 incident in which another employee found a noose in a closet in American Airlines Center, the team’s arena.
USA Today reports that according to the petition, a contractor who works with the Arena Operating Company, which is owned by the Mavericks and operates the American Airlines Center, put the noose in the closet. After the noose was found, Cuban took it down and threw it in the trash, according to Newsome.
“There was nothing done, and the most disheartening thing was the fact that Mr. Cuban is the one who took down the noose and discarded it,” Newsome said, according to the report.
She added: “They tried to brush it under the carpet.”
Another report, from the Dallas Morning News, said three workers from the operating company have said the alleged noose was actually a stuffed NHL Dallas Stars bear hanging from electrical or audio-visual wire. The hanging bear was meant to represent angst over a poor Stars season, the report said.
In Texas, “petitioners can seek information like documents and depositions before filing a lawsuit.”
When reached for comment, Cuban told Business Insider that he did not know Newsome and is not involved in the operations of the American Airlines Center.
According to the report, Newsome complained throughout her time at Arena Operating Company of racial discrimination, pay inequity, harassment, and bullying from co-workers. AOC fired her in 2017 in what she claims is retaliation for a 2015 complaint to human relations, according to the report.
Arena Operating Company told USA Today that it “strives to treat all employees with dignity, respect and fairness, including maintaining an environment free of unlawful harassment and intimidation. All forms of harassment are strictly prohibited and are not tolerated.”
Cuban and the Mavericks have been under fire since a Sports Illustrated report in February documented a toxic culture of sexual harassment, led by former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. Additionally, a former writer for Mavs.com pleaded guilty to charges of family violence and was later accused of hitting a female employee he was dating in the face. The Mavericks later fired him. Cuban has said he was unaware of Ussery’s behaviour and the culture within the team but vowed to fix it.
A woman also accused Cuban in March of sexual assault during an incident at a Portland, Oregon, bar in 2011. Police interviewed Cuban and he denied the accusations. Prosecutors did not charge Cuban with a crime.