XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck had filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, with Vince countersuing on Thursday. McMahon claimed that Luck defied his orders in regards to hiring league personnel, subsequently abandoning his duties after the XFL suspended their season at the start of the COVID pandemic in March 2020.
Oliver Luck started the suit in April 2020, saying he was owed $23.8 million on his contract, including damages and attorney fees. This lawsuit was filed after McMahon fired him. Luck signed former NFL wide receiver Antonio Callaway against McMahon’s wishes. The reason for this supposedly was due to Vince wanting talent with “good character”. Callaway had been suspended for 10 games in 2019 after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Callaway suffered a knee injury despite being signed. Thanks to worker’s comp, they were unable to fire him without paying his original signing bonus of roughly $120,000.
Vince McMahon stated: “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.”
In a very similar circumstance, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Matavis Bryan, who had been suspended in 2016 for a substance abuse policy violation, along with another player who was banned from a university where his XFL team was practicing due to sexual assault charges.
Luck butted-heads with McMahon over the XFL being interested in Johnny Manziel, with McMahon texting Luck saying there’s “no chance in hell” (no pun intended) for Manziel to be signed to a deal. Luck also had no intentions of signing Manziel, stating he was, “milking the story to stay in the news”. McMahon is currently seeking approximately $572,792.10 in the lawsuit to cover Callaway’s contract. The worker’s compensation owed to him, along with Luck’s compensation between March 14th to April 9th.
Oliver Luck’s council stated the following: “It’s another lame attempt by Mr. McMahon’s attorneys to deflect attention from the fact that Mr. McMahon continues to refuse to pay the $24 million that he owes Oliver Luck.”