Oliver Luck Says Vince McMahon Fired Him for 'Sinister' Reasons in Court Filing

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 26, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2019, file photo, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck gestures during a press conference in Seattle.  When the XFL debuts in February, it will take a “Star Trek” approach of going where no football league has gone before. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck claims that ex-XFL owner and current WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon fired him for "sinister" reasons per a memorandum of law filing in Connecticut federal district court.

According to Michael McCann of Sportico, the brief reads as follows:

"McMahon violated his duty of good faith ... to ensure that Alpha did not manufacture spurious or dishonest grounds on which to terminate Mr. Luck for the sinister purpose of avoiding payment of all compensation to which he was entitled upon a termination without cause." 

Alpha is in reference to Alpha Entertainment, the McMahon-owned former parent company of the XFL.

Per ESPN's Kevin Seifert, Luck was fired on April 9, three days before the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The XFL reboot started strong in February, but the league suspended play (before calling the season off entirely) amid the COVID-19 pandemic following five weeks of action.

McMahon and Alpha claim they fired Luck "for cause," citing three reasons. McCann outlined them briefly:

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"Last Friday, attorneys for Alpha told Judge Victor Bolden that Luck had made unauthorized emails containing sensitive XFL information to his brother-in-law and NFL agent, William Wilson. Currently the CEO and secretary general of U.S. Soccer, Wilson had co-led the football division at Wasserman Media Group. Alpha also contends that Luck misused his company iPhone and failed to a release a player, Antonio Callaway, who had a 'bad reputation' in violation of XFL policies."

Luck, who signed a five-year, $35 million contract to be the XFL's commissioner, is looking for a $23.8 million judgment to recoup the remaining monies owed.

McMahon and Alpha contend they do not have to pay the eight-figure amount because of the "for cause" firing, which Luck disputes.

The ex-XFL commissioner, who is the father of retired NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, states that McMahon or Alpha did not give him written notice of any concerns regarding "wrongdoing" or a chance to fix those "alleged violations."

Luck also said that McMahon "made a personal and binding guarantee" he would get his money, per McCann.