The XFL was not able to make it a full season during its reboot after COVID-19 essentially shut down all sports, but the 2021 season appears to be uncertain as well. The future of the XFL is in doubt after the league laid off all employees, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
“NEWS: on a call today with COO Jeffery Pollock, XFL employees were just informed that the league is suspending operations and all employees have been laid off. Another sport impacted further by the current COVID-19 crisis,” Yates tweeted.
It Is Uncertain if the XFL Will Resume Operations for 2021
It is unclear if the league plans to permanently fold or will resume operations once the coronavirus curve flattens. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that is could be “curtains” for the new league.
“Employees are being paid through Sunday. After that, could be curtains. There was no discussion of when operations could restart, source says,” Garafolo explained on Twitter.
Former XFL employee B.W. Carlin discussed the league-wide call where employees were informed of the layoffs.
“The XFL just laid me off. I really think I did some of the best work in social media this year, so this really hurts. If you need someone for social, written content, meme goofin’ or anything at all, I’m your guy…Also, to be further clear. The XFL just fired EVERYONE. A ton of talented people out there now,” Carlin explained on Twitter.
The XFL Initially Canceled 2020 Season
The XFL initially responded to COVID-19 by canceling the remainder of the 2020 season back in March. The XFL’s statement indicated that the league planned to play in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the most recent local and state regulations, have left the XFL no choice but to officially cancel the remainder of the 2020 season. This decision has been made with the health and safety of the entire XFL family as our top priority…
Your passion, your commitment to your favorite XFL team and your love of football made our season a success beyond our wildest dreams. We’re grateful for the incredible response and look forward to playing full seasons for you — and with you — in 2021 and beyond.
P.J. Walker Is Among the XFL Stars That Has Signed With NFL Teams
Players were free to sign with NFL teams prior to the latest announcement. P.J. Walker was one of the league’s standout players and signed with the Panthers where he is reunited with his college coach Matt Rhule.
“It was more so the opportunity with Carolina and it was the best fit for me,” Walker told ESPN, per 247Sports. “And for me, I wanted to go where I felt comfortable, and I felt comfortable with coach Rhule. And especially with the opportunity, I just wanted to take advantage of that as well.”
The XFL started its season the weekend after the Super Bowl hoping to attract fans without football to watch in the spring. It marks the second straight startup football league that did not last a full season, but the XFL was cut short by COVID-19 rather than for financial reasons.