Who Is Melissa Weishaupt ? Ex Dallas Mavericks Employee Reveals Sexual Harassment Culture

GettyImages-897867538 (1)
Since the scandal broke, Dallas Mavericks owner has repeatedly claimed he only ran the basketball side of the franchise. Getty Images

One of the women who were sexually harassed by the former president of the Dallas Mavericks has criticized Mark Cuban's response to the scandal, suggesting the Mavs' owner has failed to shoulder responsibility for the events.

Writing for Sports Illustrated on Tuesday, Melissa Weishaupt revealed she was one of the victims of harassment from former Mavs president Terdema Ussery.

While some of the alleged victims have opted to remain anonymous, Weishaupt said she has chosen to speak out as she doubted the Mavs' hierarchy had fully grasped the implications of the allegations.

"I'm using my name because I'm still not sure the Mavericks get it," she wrote. "Since the story broke, owner Mark Cuban has repeatedly claimed he oversaw only the basketball side of that franchise, not the business side.

"Sorry. It doesn't work that way. You own 100% of the team, Mark. The buck stops with you […] Nothing was decided without your approval," Weishaupt continued.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Weishaupt worked as marketing manager for the Mavs between November 2010 and June 2014, before spending three years as director of external communications at the Dallas Independent School District.

Last month, a report in Sports Illustratedalleged Ussery, who spent 18 years at the franchise, had made sexually suggestive remarks to a number of women.

The exposé also revealed team website reporter Earl Sneed was accused twice of sexual assault during his spell as a Mavericks employee, including a guilty plea in a case that was dismissed when he met the conditions.

Sneed has since been fired. Cuban told Sports Illustrated that Human Resources Director Buddy Pittman had also been given his marching orders, after further details of the report emerged.

However, Weishaupt, who revealed she was behind the report, claimed Cuban helped create the culture that permeated the franchise. She added that during her three years at the Mavs, staff were told that Texas was a right-to-work state, implying the employees had the right to work for the franchise but the management had the right to fire them.

According to the former Mavs' marketing manager, it was also clear the franchise's HR department was in place to protect the management, rather than the employees.

After the scandal broke, Cuban offered to foot the bill for legal counselling any of the alleged victims might require and the Mavs have set up a hotline for the victims.

Weishaupt, however, added a number of current Mavs employees had told her they did not know how to find the hotline and urged Cuban to adopt much more radical measures instead.

"We are not fragile flowers," she wrote. "We don't long for counselling. We want equitable pay. We need to be treated with respect. When deserved, we ought to be given the same promotions as our male counterparts."

However, she praised Dirk Nowitzki and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle for the way they represented the franchise, as the scandal began to emerge.

Last month, Nowitzki, who has spent two decades with the franchise, said he had been left "disgusted" by the reports.

"It's very disappointing," Nowitzki told The Dallas Morning News. "It's heartbreaking. I'm glad it's all coming out. I was disgusted when I read the article, obviously, as everybody was."

Weishaupt wrote she was "encouraged" by their response.

"Accused of nothing, they [Nowitzki and Carlisle] still recognized they represented their organization. They showed support for those of us who came forward.