In the Dallas Mavericks organization, women who were being sexually harassed by the CEO and others did exactly what they were supposed to do — they reported the incidents to their supervisors and the head of Human Relations in the organization. Nothing happened. The men kept their jobs, the women kept on being harassed — some had their jobs threatened if they spoke out — and the old boys networked thrived.
The NBA is giving future employees in that situation another option. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The NBA is launching a confidential hotline to report workplace issues, including sexual harassment, according to a memo commissioner Adam SIlver sent to the 30 teams minutes ago.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 22, 2018
Silver sent a memo to teams titled "Respect in the Workplace," and reaffirmed the league's commitment to "a safe and inclusive work environment," according to memo obtained by ESPN. The hotline will be available to all league and team employees. It'll be up and running next week.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 23, 2018
It’s a good first step.
The NBA is a league that prides itself on being progressive, promoting equality, and this Mavericks scandal is a black eye for the league on this front. While they will wait for the hired team of lawyers to finish their investigation before any punishment is handed out — and there will be punishment — the league needs to take proactive steps now. This is a good one. There needs to be more.