WASHINGTON (AP) Civil rights attorney Cyrus Mehri, who co-wrote the NFL’s Rooney Rule, says he plans to challenge DeMaurice Smith for his job as executive director of the NFL Players Association.
Mehri tells HBO’s ”Real Sports” he felt compelled to become a candidate for the position after examining the league’s most recent labor deal with the union. Mehri says the players ”went backwards economically in a massive way,” and Smith gave Commissioner Roger Goodell ”a blank check” when it comes to player discipline.
Mehri played a key role in the implementation of the Rooney Rule, which mandates that teams interview minority candidates for coaching and general manager positions. That rule also has been expanded to other NFL jobs.
Smith became the executive director of the NFLPA in 2009 and was elected to a second term three years later.