NBA union director Roberts said to be losing support of players

Sam Amico

NBA players association executive director Michele Roberts "has lost the faith of a large portion of her union members," according to Jason Whitlock of Outkick, and several SI sources have since confirmed.

The NBA stands to lose millions this season after suspending play because of the coronavirus, as well as suffering a major loss of revenue from China, spurred by an early-season pro-democracy tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.  

According to sources, a multitude of players are questioning whether Roberts can effectively guide the union through the economic issues facing the league and what is certain to be another round of collective bargaining before next season.

Sources added that Roberts does have some support, though the list seems to be waning by way of some of the union's more influential members.

Roberts has served in her current role since 2014, when she replaced Billy Hunter and became the first woman to head a major North American sports union. She has frequently drawn praise for her strong working relationship with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and good-faith negotiations, while also staunchly defending the interests of the union.

Roberts grew up in a housing project in South Bronx before working her way to a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She spent more 30 years as a trial lawyer and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School.

Roberts replaced Hunter in 2014 after receiving 32 of 36 votes.