DeMaurice Smith says he wants to stay on as NFLPA chief beyond his current term. Apparently, he’ll have to fight to keep his position. Civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri tells HBO’s Bryant Gumbel that he will challenge Smith for leadership of the union in March 2018.
“The more I dug into this and saw how unfair the last CBA deal was, the more I felt I had to answer the call,” Mehri said (transcript via PFT). “The players went backwards economically in a massive way, and that’s hundreds of millions of dollars that were forfeited and De Smith gave the commissioner a blank check. ‘Dear Commissioner, you can do whatever you want on player discipline.’ Well, we’re gonna fix that.”
Mehri clearly has a bone to pick with Smith and he won’t be shy about highlighting his own strength’s over what he perceives to be weaknesses of Smith’s.
“[I’m an] honest broker,” the lawyer said when asked what commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL owners would think of him. “Someone with integrity and someone who gets things done. I think I’ve earned their respect and that respect I’m gonna carry forward on behalf of the NFL players.”
There’s no indication that players are unhappy with Smith, so Mehri may be fighting an uphill battle as he attempts his takeover.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires in early 2021.