LAS VEGAS -- The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American male sports union.
Roberts received 32 of 36 votes in a process that was completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The Washington trial lawyer defeated tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.
The vote capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February of 2013.
Her appointment comes at a critical time for the players, who could face another round of collective bargaining talks in 2017 if either the union or the league opts out of the current agreement.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement congratulating Roberts on her appointment.