On Thursday afternoon, WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced he is bringing the XFL back and is “going to give the game of football back to the fans.”
— WWE (@WWE) January 25, 2018
The announcement of the return comes just as an NFL season comes to an end that has been filled with political drama and criticism from President Donald Trump over protests during the national anthem.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained. We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time,” McMahon said.
He will be the owner of all of the teams in the league; therefore, he will be able to set the rules.
“I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules,’” he said.
Any player with a criminal record will not be eligible for the XFL. This means players such as Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will not be able to play in the league:
“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are. If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime, you aren’t playing in this league.”
Despite all the problems that the NFL is having with fans boycotting and plummeting ratings, McMahon insisted that “the start of this league has nothing to do with the NFL’s troubles.”
He also explained that the XFL would not be a development league for the NFL and that all players would come in on an even playing field. However, those who win and play well will be paid more.
“Everyone in America lives when they perform, they get a raise or bonus. That’s capitalism,” he explained.
Teams will be formed in 2019, and the first season will kick off in 2020.