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Volume 22 No. 27
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Terri Carmichael Jackson, WNBPA

Photo: Isaac Thesatus / Redhouse Visuals

Terri Carmichael Jackson is the first executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association and is leading the union after it opted out of the collective-bargaining agreement with the WNBA for the first time in history in hopes of securing a better deal.

Players and league officials have been negotiating for a new agreement since November 2018. The deal will expire this Oct. 31 or the day after the last playoff game, whichever is later.

Terri Carmichael Jackson

Executive Director, Women’s National Basketball Players Association

Born: New Brunswick, N.J.
Education: Georgetown University, B.A., government; Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.

“It took a lot of courage” for the players to opt out, Jackson said. Although she would not go into specifics, she said the women are seeking changes in compensation, health and safety, and the overall player experience.

Jackson is married to Jaren Jackson Sr., who played for 13 seasons in the NBA despite being undrafted. Their son, Jaren Jackson Jr., was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

“My personal life — understanding basketball and the business side of basketball from the players’ perspective way back when with my husband and currently now with my son — gives me an opportunity to be one of the only people in the room when we are negotiating a collective-bargaining agreement to have that kind of vantage point and that kind of perspective,” Jackson said. “It gives me the best opportunity to see what’s possible for the women of my membership.” — Liz Mullen

Getting to know...

Guilty pleasure: Beignets, preferably from Café du Monde.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Shopping for sneakers like they were Louboutins. 

Misperception of working in sports business: You are able to attend ALL of the games.

Proudest professional achievement: Ask me again when we have negotiated a new CBA.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet: Cynthia Marshall, Dallas Mavericks CEO. When she was hired, she talked about the opportunity to make real change in our industry “for the sisterhood.”

Role of sports in social issues: Follow the lead of an entire league of players who understand how to listen, build consensus and mobilize. The women of the WNBA know what time it is.