Report: Mavericks Employee 'Pants DJ' Kept Job Despite Looking at Porn in Office

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2018

The Dallas Mavericks logo during an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

In February, Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther of Sports Illustrated published an investigation detailing the "hostile work environment" allegedly cultivated by Dallas Mavericks employees with activities "ranging from sexual harassment to domestic violence," and one senior account executive reportedly contributed to the problems with the use of pornographic images in the office.

According to Brandon George and Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, Chris Hyde—a senior executive who was fired in 2014—was known as "Pants DJ" by co-workers and would look at pornography in the office and "rub himself below his belt line."

He also allegedly showed co-workers pornographic images on his phone and dropped a used condom on the floor.

While he was ultimately fired, George and Sefko noted the behavior continued for six years. Hyde was also warned by owner Mark Cuban to stop the behavior but still kept his job for a significant time, highlighting the fact the owner "knew more about misconduct in the workplace than had been previously reported."

George and Sefko interviewed numerous current and former employees of the Mavericks, and five of them said they didn’t complain to human resources about Hyde because they thought superiors already knew and accepted the behavior.

Hyde worked for the Mavericks for 15 years and apologized to Cuban when the owner threatened to fire him for the actions. However, a former employee said Hyde only stopped the behavior for several months before starting again, even bringing in an external hard drive to view pornography and not be linked into the Mavericks’ system.

Two people George and Sefko talked to said Cuban was aware of the condom incident as well but allowed Hyde to keep his job. Instead, the desks of several employees, including Hyde’s, were moved after the condom incident, which was described in the report as attempting to "put a Band-Aid" on the situation.

"Despite common knowledge around the office of Hyde's lewd behavior, he was allowed to keep his job until 2014," George and Sefko wrote. "His firing was not related to his porn-viewing habits in the office or the condom incident, according to four sources."

The Mavericks hired CEO Cynthia Marshall in an effort to clean up the work environment after the Sports Illustrated report, and there is still an ongoing investigation.

Wertheim and Luther specifically wrote about sexual harassment from former Mavericks President and CEO Terdema Ussery, who resigned in 2015. Their report also noted former beat reporter Earl K. Sneed continued with his job despite being arrested at the team facility and involved in a domestic dispute with a female co-worker.

As for Hyde, George and Sefko described him as "one of the central figures who helped cultivate a sexually charged work environment in the NBA franchise's corporate office."

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