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NBA Players Reelect Union President

Michele Roberts, the only female leader of a sports union, will serve another 4 years as head of the NBPA

Brian Young's picture
Jul 11, 2018

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has announced that Michele Roberts, the only female leader of a male professional sports players association, will be with the union for a few more years. In a unanimous vote, the players selected Roberts to serve another 4 year term as Executive Director. The decision means that Roberts will lead the union through the next round of collective bargaining.

Roberts was hired in 2014 to turn the NBPA around after former Executive Director Billy Hunter was fired for a number of irregularities, including hiring numerous family members. Roberts worked hard to turn the union around and get players more involved. Since she took over stars like Lebron James, Steph Curry and Chris Paul have taken leadership roles within the union. Roberts has also brought the players, owners and the commissioner together to deal with hot-button issues that have bogged down other leagues. On Twitter, Roberts said:

“I am honored that the players have put their trust in me for another four years. I look forward to continuing to serve the best interests of the players by using my voice and my position to advocate on their behalf.”

“Our goal when we hired Michele was to take back our union."NBPA President Chris Paul said. “With her leadership and guidance, we have not only accomplished that but we have also established the NBPA as one of the strongest and most active unions in all of professional sports.

Below is a brief bio of Roberts from Wikipedia:

Michele A. Roberts (born 1956) is the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. She is the first woman to hold that position and the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. Previously she was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[1]

Roberts grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx.[1] She attended The Masters School, an elite prep school in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1977 and her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1980.

Roberts began her career in 1980 at Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She served in that role for eight years, rising to the chief of the trial division. She was mentored by attorney Charles Ogletree.

Roberts built her reputation as a trial lawyer. She worked for Akin Gump from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 she was hired by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[4]

Roberts was named the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in July 2014. She succeeded Billy Hunter in the position. She received 32 of 36 votes.

In 2014 she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.

Roberts is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The Washingtonian once referred to her as the "finest pure trial lawyer in Washington."


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