SBD/Issue 21/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFLPA Exec Dir Candidate Miller Wants Public Debates On Issues

Miller Says Debate Would
Help NFLPA Explain Issues 
Former Cardinals and Browns LB and former NFLPA player rep Jamir Miller, one of a number of ex-players vying for the NFLPA Exec Dir job, has called for at least one public candidate debate on the issues, to be aired on television or on the Internet, in a letter Miller e-mailed to all NFLPA player reps yesterday. “The debate should take place in as public a forum as possible, and I bet either ESPN, Fox Sports, or even HBO would be eager to provide a venue,” Miller wrote. “This would not only give the players and the player reps necessary insight, it would also explain the situation to the public, giving a preview of the issues that lie ahead.” Noting the growing tension between the league and the NFLPA over the current labor deal, Miller wrote, “Part of this upcoming contest between owners and players will be conducted in public, with the goal of gaining the public's support, which could prove crucial if (or, more likely, when) the dispute turns ugly. In order to win over the people, the next executive director will have to be able to articulate the issues and our position in a manner that is clear, engaging, and sympathetic.” The NFLPA has hired Chicago-based search firm Reilly Partners to conduct the search for the replacement to Gene Upshaw, who died in August. Current plans are for a handful of candidates to give presentations to union player reps at the annual meeting in March. Player reps select the executive director by a secret ballot vote. NFLPA officials did not immediately return calls for comment late last night.

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