By Ken Reed

Michele A. Roberts recently became the first female leader of a major North American professional sports union when the NBA players elected her as their executive director in July.

Andrew Keh has written an excellent piece on Roberts and the long odds she’s overcome to reach numerous milestones of career success.

Roberts knew she was a long shot to be named NBA players union director because of her lack of sports experience and her gender. In a speech to 117 NBA players, she outlined her legal background and then decided to address the gender issue head on.

“I bet you can tell I’m a woman,” she said, “and I suspect the rest of the world can, too. My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”

She’s already proved she can successfully take on big challenges in her life. Now she gets the chance to demonstrate that she can handle the almost-all-male world of pro sports in the United States — and be an inspiration while she’s at it.

“I don’t live my life saying, ‘What ceiling am I going to crack tomorrow?’ ” she said. “What I have done, and what I tell my nieces to do, is not to worry about whether you’re the only one, but worry about whether you’re the best one.”

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.