Mavs Owner Mark Cuban Takes Responsibility for Retaining Team Beat Writer Amid Domestic Violence Incidents | Def Pen
Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is holding himself responsible for not firing beat writer Earl K. Sneed after two separate domestic abuse incidents. (Jerome Miron/USAToday Sports)

Though Mark Cuban wasn’t one of the perpetrators of the reported domestic violence that was revealed to be ongoing in the Dallas Mavericks front office, the enigmatic owner is still taking responsibility.

One of the men who committed two separate acts of domestic violence in a three-year span was reporter Earl K. Sneed. Sneed had been with the team for years and was not fired following either incident. However, he was let go just earlier this week in advance of the story being released. Cuban told ESPN’s Tim McMahon that he’ll take the blame for Sneed’s actions, placing the responsibility on his shoulders for not investigating the beat writer thoroughly enough following the two charges:

“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else… It came down to my final decision that I made.”

“It was bad, but we made a mistake about the whole thing and didn’t pursue what happened with the police after the fact,” Cuban told ESPN. “So we got it mostly from Earl’s perspective, and because we didn’t dig in with the details — and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight — we kind of, I don’t want to say took his word for it, but we didn’t see all the gruesome details until just recently. I didn’t read the police report on that until just [Tuesday], and that was a huge mistake obviously.”

Mark Cuban also acknowledged that following the second incident of domestic violence, the Mavs required Sneed to attend domestic abuse counseling among other restrictions they placed on him:

“So when the second time came around … the way I looked at it was — and, again, in hindsight it was a mistake — but I didn’t want to just fire him, because then he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else,” Cuban told ESPN. “That’s what I was truly afraid of and that was the discussion we had internally. It was a choice between just firing him and making sure that we had control of him. So I made the decision, it was my decision and again, in hindsight, I would probably do it differently. I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody [who works for the Mavericks]. From that point on – and the investigators are going to see if we missed anything else – he appeared to abide by all those rules, as far as I knew.

“So that was my decision. What I missed, and it was truly a f— up on my part, because I was not there [at the Mavericks’ office], I looked at everything anecdotally… What I missed, again, is I didn’t realize the impact that it would have on the workplace and on the women that worked here and how it sent a message to them that, if it was OK for Earl to do that, who knows what else is OK in the workplace? I missed that completely. I missed it completely.”

Along with Earl Sneed, former CEO Terdema Ussery was cited as one of the main perpetrators in numerous acts of inappropriate sexual behavior. Ussery stepped down from his CEO position in 2015 for a job at Under Armour.


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