The NBA became a new front for MeToo movement following Sports Illustrated‘s investigation into the sexual harassment and domestic violence issues inside the Dallas Mavericks’ organization. One of the chief bad actors named in the report was former beat writer Earl K. Snead who reportedly had two separate domestic violence incidents that the team was aware of. In response to the report, team owner Mark Cuban announced his intention to clean house and make much needed changes. (Snead and several others have already been fired.)
In a statement to ESPN, Cuban claimed he was unaware of the details surrounding Snead’s domestic violence arrest in 2011 as well as a second incident in which he struck a team employee that he was dating at the time who reported his offense to the team’s human resources department. However, Cuban is not trying to pass the buck, calling his decision to retain Snead a “horrible mistake in hindsight”:
“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban told ESPN. “It came down to my final decision that I made.”
In hindsight, Cuban said, “I would have fired him and still made him go to counseling” after learning details of the first domestic violence incident, expressing regret for not following up with police to discover those details.
Cuban also noted that it was a “huge mistake” to not read the police report regarding Snead’s arrest (his then-girlfriend suffered a fractured wrist and had bruises on her arms and chest) until earlier this week. “My real f— up was I didn’t recognize the impact it would have on all the other employees,” Cuban wrote. “I looked at this as a one-off situation where, OK, if I don’t do anything, this person could go out there and do damage on another women another time. Or do I say, can we get him counseling to try to prevent that from happening again? I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.” Cuban has contracted Krutoy Law, a New York firm led by a former sex crimes prosecutor, to investigate the claims against current and former Mavericks staff contained in the Sports Illustrated story.