Before becoming one of ESPN’s most interesting personalities, Domonique Foxworth not only had a successful NFL career but a second one in sports labor. And in an appearance Thursday on Pablo Torre Finds Out, Foxworth revealed he recently interviewed to replace DeMaurice Smith as executive director for the NFL Players’ Association.
Foxworth served as president of the union when he was a cornerback in the NFL and later worked for a year at the National Basketball Players’ Association after graduating from Harvard Business School. But he initially declined the offer to put himself up for NFLPA executive director. Then he realized what a huge opportunity it could be.
“Outside of being an athlete, the one thing I felt professionally passionate about is sports unions,” Foxworth said.
Foxworth explained that he had long been pursued for the job but refused to go against Smith directly. Once Smith was leaving, Foxworth finally interviewed for the job.
“This was the first time on the professional side, I would look up and be like, ‘man I should have done that,'” Foxworth said.
So he agreed to go through the process. The NFLPA hired longtime management consultant Lloyd Howell Jr. over Foxworth in June.
Despite leaving no regrets on the table by interviewing, Foxworth admitted he thinks his perspective as a former player and union member would have been valuable representing the league’s players.
“We are outmatched as a union against the league,” Foxworth said. “The only strength that we have is in our solidarity.
“And the solidarity is all about relationships … which is why I think the former player thing does have some value.”
Foxworth recently launched a podcast at ESPN and hosted debatable until its apparent cancelation recently. He is a panelist on Get Up! and Around the Horn.
But Foxworth nearly became one of the most powerful people in sports outside ESPN. At least he has no regrets.