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XFL founder Vince McMahon fired former commissioner Oliver Luck “for cause” shortly before the league filed for bankruptcy, according to a court filing unsealed Wednesday.
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The filing, made in response to Luck’s wrongful termination lawsuit, references three occasions in which the former commissioner purportedly neglected his duties to the XFL. Luck was fired by letter April 9, just days before the XFL filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ceased operation.
OLIVER LUCK SUES XFL FOUNDER VINCE MCMAHON FOR WRONGFUL TERMINATION
McMahon’s attorneys alleged Luck "effectively abandoned his responsibilities” starting March 13 when the coronavirus pandemic interrupted XFL's inaugural season, according to ESPN. The filing claims Luck relocated from XFL’s headquarters in Connecticut to his home in Indiana and stopped devoting sufficient time to managing the league’s operations.
Other alleged XFL policy violations include Luck’s use of a company iPhone for personal matters and his signing of former NFL wide receiver Antonio Calloway, who was suspended for violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and subsequently released. When the rebooted XFL was first announced, McMahon said the league would not work with players who had a history of off-field issues.
XFL FOR SALE AMID BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS
An XFL representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McMahon hired Luck to serve as XFL’s commissioner just months after the league restarted operations. He had a guaranteed contract that included a $5 million salary.
Luck’s lawsuit notes he "wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter.” Much of the lawsuit was redacted, so his exact points of contention were unclear.
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“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,” attorney Jerry McDevitt of law firm K&L Gates said in a statement last month. “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."
The XFL is attempting to sell its brand, logo and other intellectual property as part of bankruptcy proceedings. McMahon was XFL’s majority shareholder, holding 100 percent of Class A stock and 76.5 percent of Class B.
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