The NFLPA has elected a new executive director. After presentations by Trace Armstrong, David Cornwell, DeMaurice Smith, and Troy Vincent on Saturday, NFLPA player representatives had question-and-answer sessions with the candidates on Sunday. Hillard Heintze Strategic Security Advisors performed background checks on the candidates and reported the results to the player reps. Following the question-and-answer sessions, each candidate had a chance to present a fifteen minute closing argument to prove they were deserving of the position.
Patton Boggs attorney DeMaurice Smith was elected as the NFLPA’s executive director. Smith needed 17 of the 32 player representatives’ votes to be declared the winner. He reportedly received the majority vote on the first ballot.
Smith was called an outsider to the football world and a long shot candidate by some. After winning the majority vote on the first ballot, Smith obviously proved to the player reps that he has what it takes to lead players into the next round of collective bargaining.
Retired players should be willing to give Smith a chance to heal the currently fractured relationship between the union and retired players. This is the first opportunity for that to happen in a very long time.
Update: DeMaurice Smith was elected by a unanimous vote to the executive director position.
Second Update: Profootballtalk.com is reporting that Smith received 20 of 32 votes. Troy Vincent received six votes. The remaining six votes were split between David Cornwell and Trace Armstrong. A motion was made to make the outcome unanimous and the motion carried.