Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene is endorsing Cyrus Mehri in his candidacy for NFLPA executive director.
Mehri, a civil rights attorney who co-wrote the NFL’s Rooney Rule, said last week that he plans to challenge DeMaurice Smith for his job as executive director of the NFL Players Association.
“We need someone well versed in labor law who is also a people person capable of relating to players,” Greene said in a statement. “Cyrus has that perfect mix. I have known him for a number of years through the Fritz Pollard Alliance and he knows our League very well. He will fight for players past, present and future. He is an extraordinary candidate and I am so grateful he has put his hat in the ring. The players should have a choice.”
Greene joins Jim Brown, Harry Carson and Kellen Winslow Sr. as former NFL stars who are supporting Mehri’s candidacy.
There is a chance, however, that Mehri won’t even be given a chance to run against Smith.
The NFL Players Association changed procedures for electing its executive director, creating the possibility that Smith could be reappointed without challengers this fall, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Union rules now call for a selection committee to vote by Oct. 15 on whether to extend Smith’s contract, which expires in March 2018. If approved by all 14 members of the committee, Smith will continue as executive director for another term. The job will not be declared “open” unless less than half of the committee votes its approval.
Information from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert was used in this report.