NFLPA Names New Executive Director

March 16, 2009: The National Football League Players Association said that attorney DeMaurice Smith has been elected executive director. Smith, who will serve a three-year term, succeeds the late Gene Upshaw, who died in August, as only third executive director since the NFLPA was founded in 1956. Other candidates were Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and David Cornwell. Smith, 45, is a trial lawyer and litigation partner at law firm Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C. Among other duties, the NFLPA represents all 1,800+ players in such issues as wages and working conditions and oversees marketing deals that involve six or more players in marketing, advertising or sales initiatives. NFLPA works with more than 65 licensees in such categories as apparel, consumer goods, videogames and trading cards. “The Board of Player Representatives made a decision today that will chart the course of this organization,” NFLPA president Kevin Mawae said in a statement. “This decision is a legacy decision. It is one that will unify and strengthen the National Football League Players Association.” Back to Home Page