USA Today reports that a former employee at Dallas' American Airlines Center has filed a petition considering a lawsuit against the Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for racial discrimination. Seeking documents from the Mavericks, Michelle Newsome, who is black, filed the petition in Dallas County Court Thursday (March 29), claiming that Cuban has tried to "sweep under the rug" a 2011 incident in which a noose was found.
Newsome heard of the noose after another employee found it in an closet across from Cuban's suite at the venue. The noose was found before the Mavericks' February 23, 2011 game, the same year Cuban was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Portland nightclub. Newsome claims that when Cuban was told about the noose, he simply threw it in the trash.
That was disheartening because it was underwriting the toxic racial climate there because nothing was done.
“No apology made,” Newsome told USA Today. “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 Arena Operating Company responded to the petition, saying they strive "to treat all employees with dignity, respect and fairness, including maintaining an environment free of unlawful harassment and intimidation."
Cuban, meanwhile, has yet to respond to the allegation.