MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Major League Football, which began practice last week at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and was set to begin games next month in Mobile, has been “shut down,” per a coach in the league.
The news stemming, in part, from unpaid hotel rooms/reservations.
Today after practice, MLFB coaches were in meetings at a team hotel when hotel officials knocked on the door and informed them to “leave immediately.” By the time coaches returned to their rooms, hotel officials were knocking on player doors informing them to “get out.”
Hotel room cards were shut off for everybody involved in the MLFB. Hotel officials retrieved luggage for people in the organization if they were not already in their rooms prior to the cards being shut off. WKRG News 5 was told this happened at three of the four team hotels.
WKRG’s Simone Eli was at one hotel in Mobile where more than a dozen MLFB players sat in the lobby awaiting rides home. One player told News 5 he was not being helped financially to get home. One coach needing a flight to Illinois also said he was not getting accommodations to go home.
“We were chilling in our hotel rooms and the workers came in taking the locks off the doors telling us to get out,” player Brendon Watson told News 5. “It’s nothing we can do. We don’t know if we are paying for flights, people don’t have money, everybody is scrambling to get home.”
Another coach with MLFB stated the players have only received a small stipend, but were not going to be paid until their first game check. The coach told News 5 MLFB coaches have been paid at least once to this point.
News 5 spoke with a league official in the hotel lobby who told WKRG they were going to try to bring coaches and players back in two weeks, when “stockholder money was approved by the SEC to help fund the league.”
The league official also told News 5 they were paying for players to get home. This statement contradicts what News 5 witnessed and was told by players/staff. When News 5 pressed the league official about seeing players/coaches ordering Ubers and searching for flights, he told me they “planned on reimbursing them.”
News 5 has called and asked for an official statement from the league, but have not yet received a response. There will be more on WKRG News 5 this evening.