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SBJ/Aug. 4-10, 2014/Labor and Agents
Roberts eager to settle into role as NBPA executive director
Published August 4, 2014, Page 13
n On possibly opting out of the CBA and possible changes to the age limit: The reason I can’t talk about these issues is I don’t know what clients’ positions are with respect to these issues. They have not, and I would not have expected them, to share with me what their thinking is on these issues before I became their executive director. So I don’t know. I have certainly been very interested in understanding what the issues are and I have spent a lot of time reading about it, listening to it and thinking about it. And I certainly have my own opinion about some of the consequences of the decisions that might be made. But my opinions are completely irrelevant, and they are not even fully informed. … At the end of the day, they may be ridiculously naïve opinions, given what the concerns are that my clients have. So I look forward to having discussions [with the players].
■ On understanding the issues the union is facing: I can tell you that I am as familiar as one can be from the outside without being engaged in discussions with the players on their views on these issues — I shouldn’t have been, unless I was hired by them. It makes sense that I wouldn’t know what the players’ thinking is, in relation to these issues. I am familiar with what the issues are. … I have seen what Mr. [Adam] Silver has had to say about the direction he wants to take the league and the issues he wants to engage in discussions with the players. I tried to get ahead of those issues, so I would know what they were, if I got the offer.
■ On working with the players: Sit down and help them formulate [a plan] and give them some idea of what the alternatives are to approaching these issues and the consequences of whatever positions they decide to take. So those are discussions I know we are going to have very soon and I look forward to that.
■ On being a woman seeking this position: I stopped a long time ago allowing myself to be paralyzed in my decisions about how I was going to proceed in my life, worried about how people might view me because of the fact I am a woman. I have never thought about not representing a client or not asking a question of a witness or any number of things. I stopped worrying about ‘Can I do that? I’m a girl.’ I do what I can to represent the people who pay me a lot of money — frankly — to solve their problems. And I do that by being the best lawyer I can be, and I don’t spend one second worrying about how some idiot might think I might not be competent because I’m a woman. … When I looked at this position and I found myself interested and attracted to it, I said, ‘This is what I want to do. I think I can do this. In fact, I know I can do this.’