On April 21, it was reported Oliver Luck filed a lawsuit against Vince McMahon for wrongful termination. Luck was fired on April 9 with McMahon officially suspending XFL league operations on April 10. The XFL would file for bankruptcy on April 13.
Luck was sent a termination letter, which he disputed in the lawsuit.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily reports lawyers for McMahon say Luck was fired for "gross neglect" of his job during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, personal use of a league-issued iPhone and signing former NFLer Antonio Callaway despite McMahon’s orders to avoid players with troubled legal histories.
The filing elaborated on the reasons:
- Luck left the XFL's Connecticut HQ for his home in Indiana on March 13 and “disengage[d] from the XFL’s operations,” according to the filing. McMahon further claims Luck did not inform him of his intentions. "Put simply, at the very moment when his leadership as CEO was needed most, Luck did not devote substantially all of his business time to the XFL, as required by his contract.”
- Luck signed Callaway, a former Browns WR, to a draft contract promising a $125,000 signing bonus without informing McMahon, even though he was aware that McMahon asked for final approval rights to any player with a questionable background. The filing continues on that “Luck failed to promptly terminate Callaway in accordance with McMahon’s instructions,” and then Callaway injured his knee in a Tampa Bay Vipers practice, which triggered medical costs and worker’s compensation costs for the startup. "The cost to the XFL of this episode of gross negligence was in excess of six figures,” McMahon’s filing reads.
- Luck used his league-issued iPhone for personal matters.
The filing notes that McMahon did guarantee Luck's contract, but the guarantee would be moot if the court finds the reasons valid. Luck's contract was issued for $5 million per year and a $2 million signing bonus. He is suing for $23.8 million in owed money from his contract.
Fightful will continue to update fans on the situation as more information is known.