Adam Silver Defends Decision Not to Suspend Mark Cuban After Mavs Misconduct

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2018

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban walks off the court after the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he opted against a suspension for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban following the league's investigation into the Mavs' workplace conditions because "there are no examples where owners have been suspended for someone else's misconduct."

On Friday, Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press provided comments from Silver, who said he felt a ban for Cuban could have set a dangerous precedent since he wasn't directly implicated in any of the allegations of harassment from women within the organization.

"If owners, shareholders, even a CEO—and Mark was not the CEO in this case—are going to be held accountable for the misconduct of others within their organizations, what's the standard that I'm going to be setting going forward and how many suspensions therefore am I talking about?" he said.

The NBA announced the findings of the investigation into the situation Wednesday. The probe "substantiated numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct within the Mavericks organization over a period spanning more than twenty years."

"The investigators concluded that Mavericks' management was ineffective, including a lack of compliance and internal controls, and that these shortcomings permitted the growth of an environment in which acts of misconduct and the individuals who committed them could flourish," the statement read.

No evidence was uncovered showing Cuban was involved in or aware of the harassment after interviews with 215 current and former Mavs employees, though.

"And I can only say there, I've been with this organization for 26 years, I was a practicing attorney before then, and I cannot think of any situation where somebody was more transparent and more forthcoming, more accepting of responsibility than Mark was in this situation," Silver told the AP.

The NBA confirmed Cuban will provide $10 million to "organizations that are committed to supporting the leadership and development of women in the sports industry and combating domestic violence."

"First, just an apology to the women involved," Cuban told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "... This is not something that just is an incident and then it's over. 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."

The NBA investigation was launched after a February report from Sports Illustrated painted the Mavericks' workplace as a "corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior."

Silver explained to the AP the situation showed all organizations, including NBA teams, should institute "almost militaristic clarity on reporting lines" to prevent widespread misconduct.

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