Cyrus Mehri begins meeting with players with first stop in Dallas

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In his bid for executive director of the NFLPA, attorney Cyrus Mehri will hold his first town hall meeting with NFL players Tuesday night in Dallas. It’s part of his attempt to win over players in his challenge to DeMaurice Smith.

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and former Cowboys player Bill Bates are among the former NFL players expected at the meeting.

“Every day we’re going to be fighting for players to have a choice, and to be able to determine their own destiny,” Mehri said Monday while stumping in Dallas. “There’s so much at stake in this election, because whoever wins gets to decide the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. Having a choice really matters when you can compare visions and platforms. I have a vision statement and a platform that’s on our website, and I haven’t heard any vision statement or platform from De Smith.”

Mehri, a civil rights lawyer who has won settlements for workers in discrimination cases against Coca-Cola and Texaco, has unveiled what he calls an “owner accountability campaign.” He insists he can get a fairer CBA without a work stoppage through consistent communication with Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL owners.

“His playbook is very limited,” Mehri said of Smith. “He’s now calling for a work stoppage four years down the road, which poses no threat at all to the NFL. Entering into a 10-year agreement with no opt-out rights enriches the owners, but doesn’t allow the players to either get a fair racket on the deal or to get out of some of these bad provisions. He’s let the owners get away with larceny.”

The NFLPA election is March 2018.