When the Alliance of American Football abruptly collapsed in April 2019, many players were left stranded.


Stuck in road game cities, their contracts had been terminated. There would be no severance pay or continuation of benefits.

The downfall of the XFL a year later was less tumultuous if only because the COVID-19 pandemic had already suspended the season. But the league’s bankruptcy meant the same outcome: players would no longer be paid and would need to find other jobs.

AAF and XFL players lacked a collective voice. Each player, injured or healthy, was left to fend for himself. Some had agents, but many did not. Finding new housing, filing for unemployment benefits, determining workers’ comp eligibility, obtaining health care insurance and assessing possible legal claims against a now-former employer were among tasks that players—some with families—had to quickly confront.

Last modified: November 30, 2020