Mark Cuban, noose mentioned in Mavs arena racial-bias petition

The Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban are named in a petition filed by a former employee at the team's arena who is considering suing for racial discrimination, USA Today reported.

Mark Cuban, noose mentioned in Mavs arena racial-bias petition

Mark Cuban, noose mentioned in Mavs arena racial-bias petition

Michelle Newsome, who is African American and a former employee of an American Airlines Center contractor, filed the petition Thursday in Dallas County Court.

She is seeking documents from the NBA team and to depose Cuban, alleging that he tried to “brush it under the carpet” after a 2011 incident at the arena in which a noose was found in an IT closet across from the owner's suite.

Newsome claims in the petition that a fellow black employee told her that he found the noose Feb. 23, 2011, before a Mavericks game.

Per USA Today:

According to her petition, a contractor who works with the Arena Operating Company, which operates the American Airlines Center, put the noose in the closet. Her petition states the male employee who found it took a photo of it. That employee, who provided an affidavit about what he saw, said Cuban threw the noose in the trash.

“That was disheartening because it was underwriting the toxic racial climate there because nothing was done. No apology made,” Newsome said.

“There was nothing done and the most disheartening thing was the fact that Mr. Cuban is the one who took down the noose and discarded it. ... They tried to brush it under the carpet. There was no action taken by him. There was nothing that said, there was no action taken by Mr. Cuban and he didn’t say anything like that this is intolerable, that this can’t be tolerated. There was nothing at all stated saying this was wrong, this is not allowed, this is not representative of a company culture that I want to have for one of my businesses.”

The petitioner's claims come as the Mavericks and Cuban have been under intense scrutiny since a bombshell report last month that chronicled "a corrosive workplace culture," particularly relating to sexual harassment by the team's former CEO.

As of late Thursday evening, the Mavericks had not responded to USA Today's requests for comment.

Arena Operating Company said in a statement to USA Today that it “strives to treat all employees with dignity, respect and fairness, including maintaining an environment free of unlawful harassment and intimidation. All forms of harassment are strictly prohibited and are not tolerated.”

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