Billionaire Mark Cuban will donate $10 million to women’s advocacy groups after an independent investigation found rampant sexual harassment on the business side of his basketball team.
In February, Sports Illustrated reported that the Dallas Mavericks’ corporate environment was toxic and consistently devalued women. On Wednesday, the team released the results of a seven-month investigation, which found “numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct” and a culture “rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” dating back two decades, the Dallas Morning News reported.
While Cuban, the team’s owner, was not implicated in the harassment, he said his mistake was not recognizing and preventing it.
“In hindsight, it was staring me right in the face and I missed it. You know … I wasn’t as focused on the business as I should’ve been.”
In an interview Wednesday with ESPN’s “The Jump,” Cuban apologized to the women in his organization.
“This is not something that just is an incident and then it’s over,” he said. “It stays with people. It stays with families. And I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I’m just sorry I didn’t recognize it.”
In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the investigation’s findings “disturbing and heartbreaking,” but credited Cuban’s actions to resolve the situation. “While nothing will undo the harm caused by a select few former employees of the Mavericks, the workplace reforms and the $10 million that Mark has agreed to contribute are important steps toward rectifying this past behavior and shining a light on a pervasive societal failing — the inability of too many organizations to provide a safe and welcoming workplace for women.”
The $10 million donation will go to organizations that promote women’s leadership and development in sports and that work to combat domestic violence. The amount is significantly more than the $2.5 million maximum fine the NBA could have imposed.