Vince McMahon has countersued former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, following Luck’s legal action against McMahon, USA Today reports.
This countersuit comes after Oliver Luck sued McMahon for wrongful termination in April 2020. Luck was hired to run the XFL in 2018, following the reboot of the company. However, five weeks into the inaugural season, Covid-19 forced the company to cancel the remainder of their season. The XFL was forced to release their staff and filed for bankruptcy soon after.
Oliver Luck, a former NFL quarterback, was terminated from the company one day before suspending operations and laying off staff. Luck would sue McMahon shortly after, disputing his termination. Luck, who’s annual salary was $5 million plus bonuses, claimed to be owed an additional $23.8 million. He is also claiming for damages and attorney fees.
This week, Vince McMahon countersued Oliver Luck. In the countersuit, McMahon claims Luck was terminated due to issues surrounding the signing of former NFL wide receiver, Antonio Callaway. McMahon allegedly outlined to Luck that the XFL must provide “quality football players with good character”. McMahon claims he was deceived by the signing, as Callaway and previously been suspended in the NFL for substance abuse and credit card fraud:
“Luck knowingly and deliberately deceived me – repeatedly – throughout the Callaway situation, which made me question whether I could continue to trust Luck to be the commissioner and CEO of the XFL.”
The suit also points to the signing of Martavis Bryant, formerly of the Pittsburgh Stealers. Bryant was suspended from the NFL in 2016 for violating a substance abuse policy.
The XFL was created in 1999, in a joint venture between NBC and WWE. Designed to be direct competition for the NFL, the league ran one season, before closing in May 2001. WWE and NBC would make a loss of $35 million. In 2018, Vince McMahon resurrected the brand, with hopes of creating a successful football league. Oliver Luck was named commissioner in June of that year.
Vince McMahon also states Oliver Luck’s decision to travel from Connecticut to his home in Indiana during the Coronavirus pandemic was a leading factor in the termination of Luck’s contract:
“Luck’s actions during the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic certainly did not meet my expectations for a Commissioner and chief executive of a sports league charged with devoting substantially all of his business time to the performance of his duties to the XFL at a time of existential threat.”
In the countersuit, McMahon is seeking $572,792.10 in compensation. This is to cover the cost of Callaway’s contract, workers compensation and Luck’s personal compensation from March 14 to April 9.