Mavs.com reporter Earl K. Sneed was fired before the SI story came out after he was originally suspended.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN he deserves the blame for keeping an ex-employee on staff after two alleged domestic violence incidents, a day after Sports Illustrated's investigation revealed the franchise's hostile workplace environment.
Mavs.com reporter Earl K. Sneed was fired before the SI story came out after he was originally suspended. He was involved in a 2011 domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest at the Mavericks' facility. He also became violent with a coworker he was dating in 2014 in a second incident.
Cuban told ESPN he took the blame and that it was his final decision to to keep Sneed on staff. Cuban said "in hindsight," he would have fired Sneed and made him still go to counseling after the first incident. He said he regretted not following up with police to discover the details.
Using a Dallas police report from the 2011 incident, SI reported that Sneed's then-girlfriend suffered a fractured wrist and bruises on her arm and chest. Sneed pleaded guilty in 2012 to misdemeanor charges of family violence assault and interference with emergency request. After paying a fine and completing community service and an anger management program, the charges were dismissed.
"It was bad, but we made a mistake about the whole thing and didn't pursue what happened with the police after the fact," Cuban told ESPN. "So we got it mostly from Earl's perspective, and because we didn't dig in with the details — and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight — we kind of, I don't want to say took his word for it, but we didn't see all the gruesome details until just recently. I didn't read the police report on that until just (Tuesday), and that was a huge mistake obviously."
Cuban said when it came to the second incident, he didn't want to fire him because Sneed "would just go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else." Sneed was not allowed to be with any other woman in the organization or a business setting after the second incident, and he was also forbidden from dating coworkers, according to Cuban. But Cuban said his real mistake was not realizing the impact this would have on other employees at the workplace.
Sneed released a statement Wednesday denying the report's characterization of the incidents and admitting that he signed a contract after the second incident prohibiting him one-on-one contact with female coworkers.