NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is urging commissioner Roger Goodell to publicly disclose his intentions for the league’s political appointee process.
“The NFLPA, in consultation with the players and our members, respectfully requests that Commissioner Goodell disclose his intention to establish a political appointive committee to advise and assist the commissioner and other senior officials with the NFLPA’s interests,” Smith said in a statement Monday.
“We are particularly concerned about the potential for political interference in NFL governance and the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding political appointations.”
The statement came after Goodell’s statement on Monday, in which he defended the league as being “not in the business of discriminating against any group of people, including political supporters.”
“There is nothing more American than our freedom to be who we are, to love who we love, to pursue our dreams and to pursue success in life,” Goodell said.
“There are no exceptions.”
While the NFL is not a political entity, the union’s political members represent more than 40 percent of its membership, according to a study published in the American Journal of Political Science.
“We have seen the NFL consistently and aggressively defend its principles, including those relating to equal opportunity, free speech, respect for the rule of law and the pursuit of the common good,” Smith wrote.
“The NFL has never denied the NFL and its members their rights under the law and has not tried to hide its political affiliations or conduct.”
The political appointor process has been in place for the last four seasons, and the union voted unanimously to adopt the concept in 2016.
A full list of political nominees can be found here.