Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been brought to the fore of a wrongful termination lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by the company which manages the team’s facility, American Airlines Center (AAC).
Michelle Newsome, a former employee with the Arena Operating Company, the outfit which manages the AAC, filed a petition Thursday in Dallas County court seeking to depose Cuban regarding any information he might have about racial discrimination and sexual harassment at the AAC. The New York Post reports that Newsome filed a $13 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the arena last year, saying the work environment she was forced to endure in her 13 years as a sales executive with the company was hostile and discriminatory.
“The Animal House culture that has been described at the Mavericks’ office is very similar to what’s going on at American Airlines Center, and they [arena operators] are very aware of it,” Newsome told the Dallas Morning News Thursday.
The lawsuit also alleges that a noose was found hanging near Cuban’s suite back in February of 2011, and Cuban grabbed it and threw it out. An anonymous employee, who is African-American, claimed to have seen Cuban remove the hangman’s noose and not make any further mention of it.
“As an African-American male, I took the hangman’s noose as a threat of violence against African-Americans,” the employee stated, according to the suit.
Cuban reportedly declined to comment Thursday.