The XFL canceled its season in March as part of the nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic with hopes it would return in 2021. However, the league suspended operations over the weekend, and its future is in serious doubt.
We spoke with former Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander who was playing for the Dallas Renegades of the XFL and getting a shot at proving to others and most importantly himself that he still belongs on the field.
"I always just said I'm not going to give up. I'm going to stay in shape because I know something will come. I was thankful to God that the XFL opportunity came. I was hoping with the way that I'm playing it'll spark somebody, and they'll say okay let's give this guy here another chance. That was the main deal, but if didn't happen with everything that was going on in my life, I overcame those obstacles. It's a big thing to me regardless." Alexander said.
When the news broke that the XFL would be suspending the 2020 season and then league operations, it was crushing.
"Just kind of got this empty feeling about it, like dang it's done. It was here and it's done. It happened so fast so you didn't really have time to process it, but the whole world is going through it right now so all we can do is try to pull together."
Regardless of if the XFL finds a way to return in the future or not, Alexander is grateful to have been a part of the 2020 season.
"It was amazing. It felt awesome. Just being back out there on that field, being with the teammates, the locker room experience," Alexander said. "There's a difference when you're in the locker room versus being outside the locker room. This time around I wasn't the young guy I was one of the older guys. A lot of the guys looked up to me, and that made me come to work every day with a purpose."
However, most importantly Alexander knows it's about more than when sports return, but about everyone staying as safe as possible.
"I just want to make sure everybody out there stay safe. Make sure you stay prayed up. This is the time we all need to come together, really come together. We always say that, but we all got to be together. The coronavirus ain’t got no name, no race, no color. If it hits you, it hits you," Alexander said.