NBPA Director Michele Roberts Will Fight For Thabo Sefolosha If He Sues The NYPD

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association
Getty Image

The dust has settled in Thabo Sefolosha’s criminal case against the NYPD. The Hawks wing was found not guilty of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Now that Sefolosha has put the criminal trial behind him and fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered during the incident in question, he can focus his efforts on possibly pursuing a civil suit against the NYPD. And if Thabo chooses to do so – which he really should, by the way – Michele Roberts will be right behind him.

As executive director of the NBPA and a former public defender in the District of Columbia, Roberts will be a legislative force in Sefolosha’s corner. She is passionate about holding the officers accountable for the physical, emotional and financial harm Thabo suffered because of his run-in with the NYPD:

“He had a criminal case and we had to respect that,” Roberts said during a question-and-answer session at the espnW: Women + Sports Summit in Dana Point, California. “He now has a civil litigation if he wants to pursue it. I take my lead from him … but all he has to do is turn me on and I’m gone. I can’t even tell you how horrific the experience he had was. It was just dreadful.”

That’s strong rhetoric coming from a former public defender. If she is appointed to do so, Roberts has the opportunity to set a precedent on holding police officers accountable for misuse of force.

Sefolosha’s trial revealed the officers’ clear intentions during their altercation with Sefolosha. Roberts has an opportunity to establish that a player in her league, or any person for that matter, cannot be mistreated by an authoritative figure without some level of accountability.