Stamford, CT – The creator of the wildly popular World Wrestling Entertainment organization announced Thursday that he’s going to restart the XFL football league, and the teams won’t be taking players who kneel for the national anthem or have criminal records.
Professional wrestling executive Vince McMahon said he was going to give football back to the fans, and would not allow anti-police protests in the new professional football league he planned to debut in 2020, according to ESPN.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon told ESPN. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
McMahon said that as the only owner of all the teams, he can make the rules.
“You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL,” McMahon told reporters. “So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
The XFL will announce what eight cities will be selected for franchises over the next couple of months, ESPN reported. The XFL was expected to pick cities from large and medium-sized markets.
“Every city is on our radar,” said McMahon, who would be the only one putting up money to run the league. It was expected to have a $100 million budget since that was the amount of WWE stock he sold last month, according to ESPN.
And McMahon said players will earn more if they are on winning teams.
“To me that’s common sense,” McMahon said. “Everyone in America lives when they perform, they get a raise or bonus. That’s capitalism.”
The new XFL will be fan-centric, and the owner invited players, coaches, and fans to submit their ideas for what he said will be a “shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly game.”
“It’s the professional football we imagined,” McMahon said.
Deadline reported that his plans called for eight teams with 40-player rosters, with four teams making the playoffs. The season will begin in late January or early February and run for 10 weeks.