WNBA players' union creates board of advocates

The WNBA players' union announced the formation of a board of advocates, which includes former NBA players Alex English and Jerry Stackhouse.

The 14-member board, selected with the input of the WNBPA executive council, will "share their guidance and unique perspectives in support of the WNBPA's efforts to create meaningful changes in the working conditions of the world-class athletes who play in the WNBA," a statement said.

The union and the WNBA are currently engaged in collective bargaining negotiations as they try to reach a new deal before the 2020 season. Cathy Engelbert, a former Deloitte executive, officially took over as WNBA commissioner in July.

The union said that the Board of Advocates is not directly involved in CBA negotiations. Rather, it will serve a more general advocacy role to improve the player experience.

"The WNBPA's rallying cry for us and working women around the world is 'Bet on Women' - a message reinforced and embodied by each member of the Board," WNBPA president and Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike said in a statement.

Along with English and Stackhouse, who is currently head coach of the Vanderbilt men's basketball team, the board members are: Stacey Abrams (former Georgia representative and gubernatorial candidate), Adrienne Becker (Level Forward founder/CEO), David Cooper (adjunct professor at NYU's Preston Robert Tisch Global Institute for Sport), Sarah Flynn (Thirty Five Ventures general manager), Sunny Hostin ("The View" co-host and ABC News legal correspondent), Kathy Ireland (chair, CEO, chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide), Sharlee Jeter (president of Turn 2 Foundation, Inc. and vice president of strategy & development for Jeter Ventures), Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (former mayor of Baltimore), Joyce Roche (former president/CEO of Girls, Inc.), Trisch Smith (Edelman PR global chief diversity and inclusion officer), Tamika Tremaglio (Deloitte Financial Advisory Services managing principal of Greater Washington) and Brent Zachary (Level Forward program manager).

The union said the board members were identified because of "their willingness to support the union in all areas, including marketing and licensing and our off-the-court philanthropic projects."