My Pledge To Players As the New NFLPA Executive Director
August 28, 2023
For 67 years, the NFLPA has advocated for the rights of players. One of the foundational principles of our Constitution is to preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained. To accomplish this, we must understand – and be committed to confronting – the challenges of our future.
After being elected by the Board of Player Representatives, I was charged with the mandate to set an aggressive agenda to serve you, the players. In those initial conversations with player leadership, common themes of better communication and trust were clearly expressed. I was struck by how thoughtful and determined your Executive Committee and Board were about seeking a deliberate, long-term plan to strengthen our standing and our leverage.
In the last several weeks since assuming this role and as part of the process to drive this union forward, I have spoken and met with active players and former players, traveled to visit many of our partners, stopped by a couple of training camps and also met with other union leaders. I have also met with Roger Goodell to open a line of communication so we can address and advocate for the issues that matter to you.
As I said in my initial remarks after being elected, I am not the type to telegraph all of our strategies and tactics publicly. However, as I start my travels today to visit all of you, I want to share the four key areas of focus that I presented to the Board of Representatives, which will define how we move forward together. I believe an informed, supported, engaged and unified player membership -- along with mutual accountability among myself, our staff and players -- are the keys to success.
If we communicate effectively, you will be informed on key issues. If we show up for you and support you every day, we will build trust. If we build trust and you feel supported, we expect that you’ll engage more. And finally, if we can achieve these first three, then we can realize a truly unified NFLPA, with players, staff and stakeholders in alignment on our shared goals.
I am aware that achieving these will not be easy, and while during my career I have accomplished similar goals at large organizations, I also appreciate that I have much to learn from you about what issues matter, what impediments there are to success, and why some issues linger over time. We are not always going to agree, but my pledge to you is a constant line of communication where candid and professional dialogue will be a hallmark of my tenure.
I am excited to begin my travels to have an opportunity to meet every one of you. Even with much to learn, I also believe I have much to contribute to bring positive organizational change to our union.
-Lloyd Howell Jr.
NFLPA Executive Director