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Mavericks win NBA Inclusion Leadership Award

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 20: Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks reacts prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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In November 2018, Mark Cuban said the Mavericks sexual-harassment scandal was behind them.

The NBA apparently agrees.

NBA release:

NBA Inclusion Leadership Award: Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks received the NBA Inclusion Leadership Award, which recognizes a team’s commitment to inclusion as a key business strategy. The team instituted a comprehensive Diversity & Inclusion strategy that covers Customers, Reputation, Agenda for Women, Family, Talent and Suppliers (C.R.A.F.T.S.), and includes several innovative policies and initiatives. These policies and initiatives include establishing four new employee resource groups; building a network of influencers to create awareness of their cultural theme nights, which generated 2.7 million impressions on social media; developing the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council, a group of 24 influential and diverse business and community leaders; and strengthening their supplier diversity efforts to triple spend with minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises. Through their commitment, 50 percent of the Mavericks executives are now women and 47 percent are people of color.

I hope the Mavericks deserve this award. That’d mean their predatory work environment no longer exists.

But even if the Mavericks deserve this award for the last year, it’s still uncomfortable to see them winning only because they were forced into a massive overhaul of their operations by employees going public to shame the team for its toxic work environment. There was no deserving team that wasn’t just entrenched in scandal? We can recognize the Mavericks’ growth from rock bottom without rushing to give them an award for it.

The Mavericks also don’t deserve benefit of the doubt for fully repairing their culture. Their supposedly thorough investigative report didn’t name team photographer Danny Bollinger, who continued working for the team. Multiple women publicly accused him of sexual harassment. Only then did the Mavericks fire him.

But we’re supposed to trust they now have award-deserving inclusion?