The National Gridiron League (NGL) season is apparently over before it had a chance to get started. A group of NGL players and coaches confirmed to WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee yesterday that the upcoming season had been called off after a rough few days that included a protest at Glenbrook Square Mall.
McClendon had claimed the City of Fort Wayne left the league on the hook for housing as players from its 12 teams began arriving in the city for a training camp. The NGL’s season was reportedly set to kick off May 1 in a bubble in Fort Wayne.
Despite the lack of help from McClendon, players stressed that coaches have been trying to help them get lodging in Fort Wayne or help pay for flights and bus tickets back home. However, according to the players, the coaches are also struggling because they have yet to be paid by the NGL.
It’s putting a lot of us in a bad position, a lot of us spent our last to get out here, I heard some people say ‘spent my last $300 to book my flight’. So now they don’t have any money for another flight because they thought they were getting checks to help them alleviate that,” said Atavious Matthews, linebacker for the Virginia Iron Horses.
You can’t be comfortable when you are somewhere new and struggling, but the mayor didn’t make promises to us, Joe McClendon did.”
Last night it was reported that the National Gridiron League no longed planned to play it’s bubble season in Fort Wayne as expected. Shortly after, it was said that a discussion over payment between players and league head Joe McClendon got heated leading to an altercation between one of the players and McClendon.
A discussion between players and league head Joe McClendon over payment became heated and broke up after one of the players and McClendon got in a physical altercation and ended up on the floor, needing to be broken up. A second altercation ensued moments later.
We’ve also heard directly from one of players to get their viewpoint on everything that happened with NGL and Fort Wayne. In the video he states that there’s at least 20 players stranded because the season cancellation. The group has since started a GoFundMe page looking for any help they can get. At the time of writing the former NGL group has raised $575 of their $10,000 goal.
Leading up to the season many fans were skeptical of the NGL, and it seems that they weren’t wrong. Forget the NGL, forget the fans; the real people screwed here are the players looking for a way to get home. Regardless if you were a fan of the NGL, we encourage everyone to go make a quick donation if possible.