Cyrus Mehri Lays Out Campaign Promises In First Town Hall In Bid For NFLPA Exec Dir
DC-based attorney Cyrus Mehri last night in Dallas "laid out his campaign promises" in his bid to become NFLPA Exec Dir in the "first of a series of town hall meetings in NFL cities," according to Charean Williams of PRO FOOTBALL TALK. Mehri said he has "three major critiques" with the current CBA. He said current NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "forfeited hundreds of millions of dollars per year" and gave NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a "blank check on discipline." Mehri: "The consequences of that is having a process that doesn’t have independence, doesn’t have checks and balances, that lacks credibility." He called the CBA "horrible for the players," saying a 10-year deal is "pretty much unprecedented in labor agreements." Mehri also said that "revamping the league’s discipline policy is among the initial items on his to-do list." Mehri: "If I’m elected, in the first hundred days, I’m going to sit down with the commissioner and top brass and reform this discipline system, so we’ll have checks and balances for when the 2018 season starts up. My guiding light is this: What’s best for the game?" He added, "The incumbent’s relationship is so poisonous and so contentious (with the NFL) that they can’t be problem-solving, but problem-solving is focusing on prevention of these issues" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 9/13).
CONTENTIOUS TIMES AHEAD: YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson wrote NFL players could "rubber stamp Smith’s standing" as NFLPA Exec Dir in October, "essentially voting to eliminate any elections the following March, when his current three-year term expires." Conversely, players could "vote to allow Smith to be challenged in a March election, opening the door for Mehri (and potentially others) to present opposing platforms and ideas to the current status quo." Given "what’s at stake for the relationship of players and the NFL franchises that employ them, this could be a significant moment that helps determine if there will be NFL football" in September '21. The NFLPA is "in the midst of an arms buildup, working toward amassing a labor war chest of hundreds of millions of dollars." Several players said that the goal is "banking as much" as $500-600M in reserves. That money would "then be used to fund players during a strike -- with an eye toward erasing regular-season games." Some players who expect to still be in the league in '21 said that they are "expecting to see regular-season games lost in the next labor fight." All of that -- the "money, the plans, the seemingly hardened stance -- makes the next vote for the head of the players union fairly important." Whoever gets the nod as the next Exec Dir is "expected to lead the NFLPA through a potential" '21 "labor battle" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/12).