Newly elected NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke with reporters in New York today and said the union has a fiduciary duty to retired players, which is in stark contrast to comments from his predecessor Gene Upshaw, who famously said he only represented active players while collecting union dues from retired players.
This should be a vote of confidence for retired players. It is the first time in years that anyone in the NFLPA has accepted the union’s duty to retired players. DeMaurice Smith is a lawyer who is well versed in the meaning of fiduciary duty.
In November of 2008, prior to Smith joining the union, a jury found the NFLPA guilty of breach of contract and fiduciary duty in its representation of retired players.
Smith also said that the NFLPA had not made a decision on whether to drop the appeal of the retired players $28.1 million verdict against the NFLPA.