Contact: Aurora Matthews 301-221-7984

November 16, 2017


NFLPA Using Membership Dues to Pay Tens of Millions to Corporate, Anti-Labor Law Firms


New Report Details Reckless Spending and Anti-Player Results Under NFLPA Leadership


WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 16) – The NFL Players Association is continuing its pattern of disenfranchising players by using millions of dollars from membership fees to pay corporate, anti-labor law firms, according to a new report. “Smith’s Reckless Spending, Anti-Union Choices, and Anti-Player Results,” released today, follows the money trail from NFLPA leadership – whose ties to corporate law firms helped funnel money for legal fees – and examines how the NFLPA’s legal fees stack up against other American professional sports unions.


“The NFLPA is supposed to protect players’ interests, yet we’re seeing a disturbing trend in which leadership is spending millions of dollars of its players’ dues on corporate law firms with anti-labor agendas. This is another mark against DeMaurice Smith, who continues to take the power away from players. There is a big difference between being a genuine labor leader and playing one on TV,” said Cyrus Mehri, who has been fighting for U.S. workers and their rights for over 25 years. “This report outlines ways for NFL Players to take back their union and make it a worker rights union.”


Key findings in the report include:

  • Since 2009, the NFLPA spent more than $113 million in legal expenses.
  • The NFLPA funneled almost all legal fees to corporate law firms that profess their anti-union bona fides on their websites.
  • From 2009 to 2016 – during NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith’s tenure – the NFLPA spent $42 million on legal fees relating to the CBA.
  • This is eight times more than the MLBPA and 28 times more than the NBPA during the same time period.
  • Despite this exorbitant spending, NFL players, due to the 2011 CBA and its consequences, forfeited billions of dollars to team owners and suffer under unchecked Commissioner disciplinary authority cemented further in court room losses.
  • NFLPA leadership disenfranchised the players – who they are charged with protecting – by secretly amending the NFLPA constitution to circumvent the traditional three-year election process and create a system to reinstall the incumbent with the great majority of the players none the wiser.
  • NFL Players can adopt a Game Plan to create a far more effective Union.



To view the report, visit Legal Fees Report. For more information about Cyrus’s campaign, including his vision for a better NFL, please visit


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