The latest attempt at getting the XFL off the ground ended sooner than the previous version of the league. Of course, this was due in major part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the league to suspend its season, lay off a number of employees, and ultimately saw its parent company declare bankruptcy after only a handful of games.
One of the league’s former executives isn’t happy about how things went down, and as a result, he’s taking Vince McMahon to court. According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, a federal lawsuit filed in Connecticut last week indicates that XFL commissioner Oliver Luck will sue McMahon for wrongful termination.
Luck’s complaint is heavily redacted to protect confidential contract information. But what it does say is, “Despite fulfilling his obligations as Commissioner and CEO since May 30, 2018, Mr. Luck was wrongfully terminated by Alpha Entertainment LLC (“Alpha”), an affiliate of Defendant, on April 9, 2020. Thus, Alpha has repudiated Mr. Luck’s employment agreement. Mr. Luck brings this action for breach of contract and declaratory judgment against McMahon.”
The lawsuit notes Alpha through bankruptcy court has filed to have the court reject “Certain Executive Contracts.” The XFL filed for Chapter 11 on April 13.
Luck, a longtime sports executive and a former quarterback for the Houston Oilers, joined the league in 2018 and was told that the league was going to be a more serious endeavor than its first go around in 2001. It cost McMahon a pretty penny to secure his services, as Luck’s deal reportedly included $20 million in guaranteed money. In the complaint, Luck’s attorneys allege that he “wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit.”
A member of the group that represents McMahon provided a statement to ESPN about Luck’s lawsuit, saying that “Oliver Luck’s services as Commissioner and CEO of The XFL were terminated by a letter sent to him on Apr. 9, 2020 which explained the reasons for the termination. As to the lawsuit he filed, his allegations will be disputed and the position of Mr. McMahon will be set forth in our response to his lawsuit.”