NBA to set up confidential hotline to report sexual harassment, other issues

Commissioner Adam Silver sends letter to all 30 teams, detailing hotline will be available to all league and team employees.

Silver sent the letter Thursday, two days after a scathing Sports Illustrated report detailed years of alleged misogyny and sexually predatory behavior in the front office of the Dallas Mavericks by former CEO and team president Terdema Ussery.

In the memo, obtained by USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick, Silver writes in part: 

“Next week, the NBA will launch a confidential hotline available to all league and team employees to report any concerns arising in the workplace, including but not limited to sexual harassment, illegality, or other misconduct.”

As part of the memo, the NBA reminded teams of its updated workplace policy and said it expects each team to complete its review of the policy by March 6. The league will also reach out to each respective HR department to reinforce updated guidelines. 

The SI report also said reporter Earl Sneed, who was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of assaulting his then-girlfriend, was allowed to remain with the company. He had a second incident in 2014, this time punching a colleague whom he was dating in the face.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized Wednesday for not firing Sneed sooner. Sneed was let go earlier this week when the story was published.

This is Silver’s second major crisis since he took the helm in February 2014. Silver had to manage the Donald Sterling crisis, in which the former Los Angeles Clippers owner used racially insensitive language. He fined Sterling $2.5 million and eventually pressured Sterling to sell the team.

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