By Julie Glass

The former commissioner of the XFL has filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit in federal court against the football league’s controlling owner, Vince McMahon, three days after the short-lived sports venture filed for bankruptcy.

The lawsuit, filed by Oliver Luck last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, contends that McMahon breached the terms of Luck’s contract when McMahon’s company, Alpha Entertainment, fired him on April 9.

McMahon, a wrestling mogul and the face of the WWE brand, has twice dabbled in trying to build an alternative to the National Football League in the past 20 years — both times with lackluster results. The previous incarnation of the league, which this time had eight teams and sought to differentiate itself from the NFL with rules changes, was also called the XFL.

Luck’s dismissal came one day before the XFL suspended its operations and laid off its staff, its season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic that has forced the cancellation of sporting events worldwide. The XFL had played five weeks of its season.

Luck, the father of the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, was also the chief executive of the fledgling XFL. The terms of Luck’s contract, which he entered into last May, were redacted from the lawsuit. The lawsuit said that Luck, 60, was fired without cause.

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