The fallout from Vince McMahon’s second attempt to launch a football league is keeping his lawyers busy. The XFL filed for bankruptcy just last week, citing unexpected losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic and others are reporting on a lawsuit filed by league commissioner Oliver Luck against McMahon for wrongful termination. The damages Luck is seeking aren’t specified, but he signed a five year contract worth between $20 - $25 million when the league launched in 2019.
The copy of the suit Kaplan saw was heavily redacted, including the letter sent to Luck terminating his employment, and a response letter where he disputed the reasons given for his termination. Luck was not listed among owed by Alpha Entertainment, the limited liability corporation McMahon created to run the XFL, in the bankruptcy filing.
Luck’s suit against McMahon indicates Alpha petitioned the bankruptcy court to reject many executive contracts, and the court agreed, which is part of why he’s suing Vince directly. The other reason, according to Darren Rovell of Action Network, relates to McMahon’s pledge to fund XFL 2.0 with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money.
Darren Heitner, a sports lawyer Rovell spoke to for his story, doesn’t sound optimistic about Luck’s chances in court with Vince:
“Luck’s contract was not with McMahon personally. Will the court be convinced that McMahon’s pledge to provide his own money adds personal liability? Seems to be a stretch.”
We’ll see how this plays out from here.