The Rock Dwayne Johnson
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The Rock Comments On New Partnership Between XFL And NFL

It would appear that pro football has a forbidden door too.

On Monday, the XFL and the NFL announced a new partnership agreement that will see the two leagues collaborate in the interest in innovating the game, and player safety and other opportunities.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is a co-owner of the XFL, commented on the new partnership by posting the following on Twitter:

Exciting time in football as our @XFL2023 will join forces with the @NFL to collaborate on innovation opportunities to expand & grow the game of football. As an XFL owner, my #1 priority will always be the players.

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ESPN reports that the XFL made it clear this will not include player sharing, but the agreement will allow the chance to experiment with “proposed rules, test new equipment and develop prospective officials and coaches.” XFL co-owner Dany Garcia told ESPN that this partnership is not intended to position the XFL as a developmental league for the NFL, and there are no plans for talent sharing.

“That’s a no. We are a spring league,” Garcia told ESPN. “We will play at the highest level in the spring. There is not the anticipation of any player sharing that changes the dynamic. That’s not how we’re executing our vision.”

WWE’s Vince McMahon was behind the first two iterations of the league in 2000 and 2020, both of which shut down after a single season. The second attempt shuttered in April 2020 after the league declared bankruptcy and cited issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his business partner/ex-wife Dany Garcia teamed with RedBird Capital to buy the league from McMahon last year for $15 million. The third incarnation of the XFL will officially begin next year, with training camps scheduled to start in January 2023.

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The full press release from the XFL is below:

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 21, 2022 – The XFL today announced it would collaborate with the NFL on select innovation programs to further expand the game of football and create increased opportunities for player development both on and off the field.

Health and safety will be a principal area of focus in both learning and innovation, with the XFL working with the NFL on forward thinking physical and mental fitness programs for players, the study of playing surfaces and equipment and the sharing of game trends and data.

“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas,” said Dany Garcia, Co-Owner and Chairwoman of the XFL. “We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward-thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance gameday experience. We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access. Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall.”

Additional avenues for collaboration may include international football development and scouting, as well as officiating, including the testing of different game rules for player protection and enhanced overall play, and of different technologies to enhance officiating.

“The XFL has shown us that innovation is one of its core principles. We are hopeful that this relationship will support further development and improvements in the game of football at all levels.” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

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