This past weekend the USFL kicked off it’s inaugural season with the Birmingham Stallions out lasting the New Jersey Generals. The matchup, which was simulcast on FOX and NBC, pulled in nearly 3.5 Millions viewers.
When the XFL kicked off in 2020 they averaged 3.3 Millions viewers for their debut on ABC. Needless to say, the USFL should be very happy with their results.
Before the big game, the USFL had another debut; their documentary series “United By Football” aired directly before kickoff on FOX.
In the episode the league shared footage of Pittsburgh Maulers head coach Kirby Wilson releasing De’Veon Smith. The situation stemmed from an incident involving Smith asking for a slice of pizza instead of the league provided chicken salad. This segment alone created a lot of controversy online with fans wondering why such a drastic measure was needed for such a small event.
Well, the Maulers have put out a statement due to the criticism.
Pittsburgh Maulers statement on De’Veon Smith being cut from the the team on ‘United by Football’. pic.twitter.com/OHmj2vuQTo
— Pittsburgh Maulers (@USFLMaulers) April 18, 2022
On the first episode of ‘United By Football,’ the weekly USFL all-access docuseries on FOX, De’Veon Smith was shown on camera being cut from our team by coach Kirby Wilson.
The show captures hundreds of hours of film with the intent of providing transparency to fans, but unfortunately, much of the context was left out in this moment.
Smith had violated three team rules in a 24-hour span, and in this particular incident, disrespected a cafeteria worker, which wasn’t captured on camera.
Smith has subsequently reached out to coach Wilson to apologize, and asked to be reinstated to the Mauler’s roster.
This does add some more context, but doesn’t give many more details on the three team rules that he had violated.
Interestingly enough, the statement says that Smith has since reached out to Kirby Wilson to apologize and has asked to be reinstated to the Maulers.
Will the team give him a second chance? We’ll just need to wait and see.
Many thought that this was a bad look for the league going into it’s first weekend of action, and we’re at least starting to get some more details on the situation.
De’Veon Smith is a solid running back with a lot of spring league experience. In the shortened XFL season, Smith led the league in rushing yards. He also spent time with the Orlando Apollos of the AAF, The Spring League’s Aviators and the CF Lions of CFL.
We’ll continue to follow this story and will keep you updated as we learn more.
UPDATE: De’Veon Smith has now responded to the statement from the Pittsburgh Maulers.
What rules did I break? Now your lying on my name????? Say less https://t.co/NsfnidUZoe
— De'Veon Smith (@i_BSmith4) April 18, 2022
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