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WASHINGTON — Civil rights attorney Cyrus Mehri, who co-wrote the NFL’s Rooney Rule, says he plans to challenge DeMaurice Smith for his job as executive director of the NFL Players Association.

Mehri told HBO’s “Real Sports” that he felt compelled to become a candidate for the position after examining the league’s most recent labor deal with the union. Mehri says the players “went backwards economically in a massive way,” and Smith gave Commissioner Roger Goodell “a blank check” when it comes to player discipline.

Mehri played a key role in the implementation of the Rooney Rule, which mandates that teams interview minority candidates for coaching and general manager positions. That rule has been expanded to other NFL jobs.

Smith became the executive director of the NFLPA in 2009 and was re-elected in 2012 and ’15. He ran unopposed in ’12 and beat eight candidates when elected to his current term.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ESPN.com New Services. (2017, August 23). Attorney Cyrus Mehri plans to challenge DeMaurice Smith for NFLPA job in 2018. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20423207/cyrus-mehri-plans-challenge-demaurice-smith-nflpa-job-2018