XFL: Commissioner Oliver Luck suing Vince McMahon for wrongful termination

Former XFL League commissioner Oliver Luck is suing Vince McMahon for wrongful dismissal following the closure of the league.
Oliver Luck was one of the first hires Vince McMahon made when he rebooted the league, and on the face of it, he had made the right decision.

Now though, with the league having been shutdown as a result of COVID-19, McMahon finds himself embroiled in a legal battle with the father of former Colts QB Andrew Luck.

Last week, Oliver Luck filed a federal lawsuit in Connecticut claiming that ‘despite fulfilling his obligations as commissioner and CEO since May 30, 2018, Mr Luck was wrongfully terminated by Alpha Entertainment LLC (“Alpha”), an affiliate 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.”

On April 10, the XFL laid off virtually all of their staff less than a month after calling a halt to their inaugural season after just six weeks.

They then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following week. Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported that in their bankruptcy motion, the XFL filed to have the court reject “certain executive contracts”.

Luck’s complaint says that he “wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the termination letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit.” What that means is that Luck was fired with a cause.

Oliver Luck was employed with a contract that would reportedly earn him a figure of $20m. Through the bankruptcy filing, he’ll likely get at least some of that, depending on the wording of his contract.

By filing for Chapter 11, the XFL is leaving the door ever-so-slightly cracked that it could return. The league plans a sale by July 15, which would include the name, trademarks, intellectual property, equipment, etc. Whether anybody buys the league in this climate remains to be seen. 

However, it’s a rough climate out there at the moment what with the COVID-19 pandemic that put us in this position to begin with. For now, I’d say your goodbyes to the XFL – I personally doubt there’ll be many willing buyers when this pandemic eventually comes to an end.

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Kieran Harm
Kieran hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and holds a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton. He covers a range of sports, specialising in football and NFL. Kieran is a long-suffering member of the Toon Army as well as a very proud member of Broncos Country.

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