After a 16-month search, the NFL Players Association’s 32 player representatives selected Lloyd Howell as their new chief executive officer, replacing DeMaurice Smith, whose term ends in 2024.
The selection of Howell, most recently chief financial officer at consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, comes at the end of an opaque process to fill one of the most powerful positions in the sport.
The search was kept confidential, but several former players, including Matt Schaub and Kellen Winslow Sr., said they had applied and been turned down by the union’s executive committee, which comprises 11 current and former players.
On the heels of negotiating the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, a contentious process that led to the addition of another game to the NFL regular season, Smith survived what amounted to a vote of no confidence in 2021 to retain the director job. executive. That motivated the search for his replacement.
“I am proud that our player leadership has conducted a professional and confidential search of the players, by the players,” said JC Tretter, President of the NFL Players Association. “I know that Lloyd will lead our union in the future.”
In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell applauded Smith’s “tireless” work, adding that the league looks forward to working with Howell “to continue to grow the game and make it better, safer, more accessible and engaging for fans.” fans from all over the world. ”
Howell takes over a union operating in a period of relative labor peace. The league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players doesn’t expire for another seven seasons, and both team owners and players are getting rich off gigantic media contracts worth more than $100 billion.
Players are compensated based on the success of the league, so in many ways they are partners with the owners. But the union is also a critical counterweight to the country’s most powerful sports league. He has rejected the owners’ desire to extend the season, called for safer playing conditions and funded bigger benefits for retired players.
The syndicate’s for-profit operations have also become more complex with the expanded use of player data and their images and likenesses.
Smith can remain with the union in an advisory capacity. In the fiscal year ending February 2021, Smith earned about $4.5 million, according to union financial documents.