It had been previously reported that former XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck sued Vince McMahon for wrongful termination after the league suddenly folded earlier this month. However, new court documents that have surfaced this week indicate that McMahon had just cause for his decision to fire Luck.
According to a report from ESPN, McMahon describes his justification for terminating Luck as follows:
- “Gross neglect” of the job once the coronavirus pandemic began. According to McMahon, Luck “effectively abandoned his responsibilities” beginning March 13 by relocating from the XFL offices in Stamford, Connecticut, to his home in Indiana and failing to “devote substantially all of his business time to his XFL duties as required by the contract.” In the response letter, Luck’s attorneys said Luck was unable to return to the office because of Connecticut’s March 20 stay-at-home order. Luck was in contact with McMahon via text message, and his attorneys’ letter listed the projects he was working on, including 2021 budgets.
- Signing wide receiver Antonio Callaway without McMahon’s approval and then refusing to release him when McMahon ordered Luck to do so. McMahon had said publicly that he did not want to sign players with problematic backgrounds. Most recently, Callaway was suspended by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy. He suffered an injury during the XFL’s January training camp and was placed on injured reserve. Luck’s response letter said that signing Callaway didn’t violate XFL policy as written and that Luck was responding to McMahon’s request to elevate wide receiver talent in the league.
- Personal use of an XFL-issued iPhone, an allegation that was not mentioned in the original termination letter. The phone is being forensically examined to determine the extent of Luck’s personal use, according to McMahon’s filing.
Here are some highlights from the 2020 season:
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