ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Predators were a mainstay in the Central Florida sports landscape for 25 years before folding in 2016.
But the team was recently revived by a former player, Kenny McEntyre.
The Predators’ first season back did not go as planned, with the team only winning two games.
WFTV sports anchor Christian Bruey is hearing from several players who claim they still have not been paid.
Some Predators players are saying there were numerous issues they faced during the season, including failed payments, evictions from team housing and poor living conditions.
Baylin Trujillo played two games with the Orlando Predators this past season and said he's still owed $400 by McEntyre.
“It got to the point where I broke my hand in a football game, and he never paid me for that game, and here we are a month and a half later,” Trujillo said. “I'm still contacting him, and he still hasn't paid me.”
Trujillo already lives in Central Florida, so he did not require team housing, but he says a handful of players who did dealt with eviction notices and a couple of times, went more than a full day without electricity or running water.
“They were getting eviction notices on their doors at 7:30 in the morning. Cops are coming to their apartment units,” Trujillo said. “Players are being cut. Their names are still on the lease at the apartment, so their personal credit was being affected. Cars were being towed. Players were expecting to get paid from the Orlando Predators, but they were being charged $25-$30 because their checks were being bounced.”
Predators majority owner McEntyre said as of Friday, every player has been paid.
As for the eviction notices and checks bouncing, McEntyre admitted the Predators had some financial difficulties during the season but said they are looking forward to 2020.
The National Arena League commissioner, Chris Siegfried, said, "We are aware of the allegations and are investigating."
“This is a great thing for the city,” Trujillo said. “This is also a great thing for the league. The Orlando Predators are a historical team. We need the Orlando Predators. We just don't need the ownership or the owner that's currently owning it.”
The team's minority owner, who was a lifelong Predators fan, said he supported McEntyre but also sympathized with Trujillo and the other players' situation.
He reiterated that the team had some financial troubles during the year that led to some of those issues.
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