American Football International

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck sues league owner Vince McMahon

In the latest fallout from the bankruptcy of the XFL, former XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck is suing Vince McMahon for wrongful termination.

In a heavily-redacted federal lawsuit that was filed in Connecticut last week and obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday, Luck claims he was wrongfully terminated by McMahon on April 9, one day before the league formally suspended operations and laid off its employees in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit includes the following claim:

“Mr. Luck wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit,”

Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for McMahon, told USA TODAY Sports that “(Luck’s) allegations will be disputed and the position of Mr. McMahon will be set forth in our response to his lawsuit.” Andrew Zeitlin, an attorney for Luck, declined comment.

The lawsuit does not specify what transpired between McMahon and Luck, who the wrestling mogul hired to lead the XFL in 2018. Much of the document filed last week is redacted, and three exhibits that Luck attached to it were all filed under seal. According to the lawsuit, Luck’s employment contract with McMahon came with a separate confidentiality agreement.

The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan reported that McMahon hired Luck for “at least $20 million over multiple years.”

The XFL, which kicked off earlier this spring, got off to a promising start before the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March, after just five weeks of action. The league first suspended play but expressed hope of a 2021 return, then canceled the season and laid off its employees a couple of weeks later. The XFL has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Luck, a former NFL quarterback and NCAA executive, has not spoken publicly about the league’s dissolution. His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees.

Sources: USA Today, Yahoo Sports