This story was updated at 7:45 PM Eastern.
Details emerged Wednesday on why XFL commissioner Oliver Luck was fired by WWE chairman and league founder Vince McMahon four days before it shut down operations, courtesy of the Sports Business Journal.
McMahon fired Luck for “gross neglect” and Luck filed a lawsuit soon thereafter to reclaim some of money lost by his surprise dismissal. It was revealed Wednesday that Luck is looking for $23.8 million from McMahon. That amount is the remainder of a contract that was worth five years and $35 million, personally guaranteed by McMahon through his Alpha Entertainment parent LLC, ensuring Luck could sue McMahon rather than go through U.S. bankruptcy court as a creditor.
In pre-trial filings, McMahon’s legal team listed “gross neglect of his job during the COVID-19 pandemic”, “personal use of a league-assisted cellphone”, and the signing of a former NFL receiver with previous legal issues despite McMahon’s previous orders to avoid doing so.
Also in the filings, McMahon claimed that Luck left the XFL’s Connecticut headquarters for his home in Indiana and “disengaged” from the league’s operations.
The suit read, “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.”
In a response through his lawyer, Luck said he communicated with McMahon via text during that aforementioned period of time which he said was McMahon’s preferred method; that the reciever (Antonio Callaway) was hired with McMahon’s knowledge and edict to upgrade the reciever quality and was released when McMahon instructed Luck to do so; and none of the offenses he claims ver elicited a formal complaint from McMahon to Luck.