I don’t know if this has been discussed before. I don’t follow basketball and I’m just hearing about this.
Apparently the Dallas Mavericks have had a big problem with sexual harassment. Former CEO Terdema Ussery was at the heart of it, although a number of other executives for the team were also involved. And part of the allegation is that the organization as a whole was covering for the people who were harassing women and discouraging women from complaining.
Ussery left the Mavericks in 2015 to take a position at another company, where he quit his new job within two months. Supposedly because he found his new company wouldn’t tolerate his behavior the way the Mavericks had. But Ussery’s departure from the Mavericks left people there less afraid to talk and the story began to be publicized.
Mark Cuban, who is the owner of the Mavericks, has said he was unaware of all of this. But since the story became news, he has suspended several of the executives who have been accused of misbehavior. He also brought in a new CEO, Cynthia Marshall, who is supposed to address the problems.
Enough background. Today, I read about Marshall’s first big proposal to address the problem; she’s changing the cheerleaders’ uniforms to make them “less revealing” and “more wholesome”.
As someone who has just heard about this story, I hesitate to rush to a conclusion. But this seems to me like the team is not heading in the right direction. This proposal seems to suggest that the harassing behavior by male executives can be addressed by changing the way women act; in other words, blaming the victims. It also seems to say that the management of the team is more concerned about improving the company’s public image rather than fixing the actual problems that damaged their public image.
Inside the Corrosive Workplace Culture of the Dallas Mavericks
Sports Illustrated exposes the Dallas Mavericks’ rampant culture of sexual misconduct
Mavericks dancers order new uniforms, creating ‘more wholesome’ routines after multiple front office scandals