ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The XFL suspended operations Friday morning, reportedly laying off nearly all of its staff and currently has no plans to return in 2021. The league has yet to release any formal announcements but some BattleHawks players said they heard the news through social media.
Former BattleHawks and Mizzou wide receiver L’Damian Washington found out the XFL was done through Twitter but he wasn't shocked that the league couldn't financially withstand the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can honestly kind of see why," Washington said. "Especially now that they're not bringing in any revenue. For me it is kind of heartbreaking but more so for the younger guys that [were] in this league trying to get film out and hopeful for a shot at the NFL."
St. Louis native and now former BattleHawks offensive lineman Brian Folkerts said he was hopeful the XFL would return next year after their season was cut short. Now he's dealing with the fact that he likely won't be able to play in front of his hometown fans again.
"For a lot of guys the dream is over," Folkerts said. "It's just kind of a punch in the gut. We're all just in a bit of a shock I would say. You can't help but feel that you were cheated out of something great."
While Washington would like to hear from the league, he understands that many of them have just lost their jobs as well, with ESPN reporting that only a handful of executives remain employed.
"It would be selfish of me to be like 'I wish that somebody from the XFL or somebody from the BattleHawks had reached out to me,'" Washington said. "They have families, they're just finding out this news for themselves about losing their job."
As for what's next for Washington, he's happy with how his football career spanned out and has no regrets about playing for the XFL.
"I can be upset but I'm honestly not. I was pretty much at the tail end of my career," Washington said. "I was lucky enough to be on seven NFL teams, played in Canada, AAF and XFL."