The Dallas Mavericks have fired director of player personnel Tony Ronzone after sexual assault allegations were published against him in a Sports Illustrated report last year, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Bread Townsend.
Ronzone allegedly kissed, groped and made unwanted sexual advances toward a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2019. That woman shared her sorry with Sports Illustrated last year after the team declined to take any disciplinary action against Ronzone.
Ronzone took over as the director of player personnel in 2012.
Ronzone accused of sexual assault
The woman, who Sports Illustrated referred to as “Sarah” to hide her identity, said that the incident took place in July 2019 while the Summer League was happening in Las Vegas.
Sarah was invited to dinner with another coworker with Ronzone, who she had met a year earlier. After they had post-dinner drinks at the Venetian, Ronzone reportedly asked Sarah to come to his room to pick up Mavericks tickets. Sarah eventually agreed, which is when the assault occurred.
Sarah spoke with Ronzone over text in the following days, as she thought that she left her credit card and ID in his room by accident. She told him that she wasn’t interested in “hooking up,” and also joked about blackmailing him.
Sarah emailed owner Mark Cuban in September that year detailing the assault. He sent that to the team’s then-chief ethics and compliance officer Cynthia Wales, who called Sarah to discuss the incident. Wales no longer works for the team.
Marshall called for an investigation into the incident, which found “no evidence presented of sexual assault.”
“Based on the available evidence, based on what was presented to us it was determined that there was not a sufficient basis to support the allegations,” Marshall told Sports Illustrated.
Incident one of many for Mavs
The allegations against Ronzone was one of many levied against high-ranking members of the organization.
A Sports Illustrated report in 2018 detailed multiple instances of sexual assault and harassment within the organization by the former CEO, former full-time beat writer and others. A former account executive was fired after he allegedly repeatedly looked at pornographic images and touch himself in the office, and a former American Airlines Center employee found a noose in the arena in 2011.
Cuban apologized after the report, and was fined $10 million by the NBA. That’s when he hired CEO Cynthia Marshall, who was brought in to try and fix the team’s culture.
It’s not clear when Ronzone was dismissed, per the report, and both Cuban and Marshall declined to comment.
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