McMahon Countersues Former XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck, Claims Insubordination

Jan 9, 2021 - by James Walsh

Vince McMahon has responded to former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck’s wrongful termination lawsuit with a countersuit alleging insubordination and more. USA Today reports that McMahon filed the countersuit on Thursday in Connecticut federal court, claming that Luck defied his orders regarding hiring league personnel and abandoned his duties after the XFL suspended play in mid-March due to the pandemic.

As you may recall, Luck sued McMahon for wrongful termination back in April, claiming that he is owed the remaining $23.8 million on his contract along with damages and attorney fees. The suit was filed a week after McMahon fired him, alleging that it was with cause.

McMahon’s suit says that Luck signed former NFL wide receiver Antonio Callaway against his wishes, as McMahon only wanted talent with “good character” and Callaway had been suspoended 10 games in 2019 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Callaway was signed but suffered a knee injury before league play started and due to worker’s comp they were unable to terminate him without paying his original signing bonus of over $120,000. McMahon writes in the suit, “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 details similar instances, such as former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (suspended in 2016 substance abuse policy violations) and an unnamed player who was banned from the university where his XFL team was practicing due to a sexual assault charge. Luck also clashed with McMahon over reports that the XFL was interested in Johnny Manziel, with McMahon texting Luck at one point and saying there’s “no chance in hell” for Manziel to be signed and he wouldn’t change his mind. Luck responded that they had no intention of signing him and were “just milking the story to stay in the news.”

McMahon is seeking $572,792.10 in the lawsuit to cover Callaway’s contract, the worker’s compensation owed to him and Luck’s compensation from March 14 to April 9.

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