Yesterday in Hawaii the NFLPA elected Lawyer DeMaurice Smith as the new head of their union. Smith beat out former players Troy Vincent and Trace Armstrong, as well as sports attorney Davd Cornwell. Cornwell became a very late candidate after receiving written support from three player reps.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Despite the fact he is not a former player, nor has any specific ties with the NFL, i think Smith is the right man for the job. As i detailed here, the NFLPA needs a strong leader heading into negotiations with the NFL owners over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Smith appears to be that leader.
According to reports, Smith had a very detailed and specific plan outlined for the direction he would like to see the NFLPA go in. Specifically, it mentioned health care and opportunities for former players, an issue that has been a very large criticism of the NFLPA in recent years. Smith also has assembled an impressive team of advisers to help him with the business side of things.
The NFLPA now turns their head towards the impending CBA negotiations. Smith has already stated his desire to get in touch with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as soon as possible, and has also mentioned his desire to avoid a lockout in 2011, which is a possibility if a new CBA is not agreed upon. You can read about what the main issues regarding the CBA will be here and here.
As always, be paying close attention to how this proceeds. It has the potential to drastically affect the NFL as we know it...