By Ken Reed
Cyrus Mehri has seen enough of the NFL players getting the short end of the stick in negotiations with NFL owners.
Mehri, a civil rights lawyer who’s won big settlements in discrimination cases against corporate giants Coca-Cola and Texaco, is planning to challenge current NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith in the March 2018 NFLPA election.
Mehri was instrumental in getting the NFL to adopt the Rooney Rule in 2002. The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs and senior football operations positions.
“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,” said Mehri in a recent HBO interview.
Mehri believes the players gave away the farm in the last CBA negotiations.
“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,” said Mehri.
“‘Dear Commissioner, you can do whatever you want on player discipline.’ Well, we’re gonna fix that.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.