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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Michael Irvin’s Civil Case, NFL Network Suspension Continue

  • Irvin's latest lawsuit against Marriott, employees of Phoenix hotel remains ongoing.
  • Irvin has remained suspended as NFL Network analyst since February incident.
Michael Irvin
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Irvin’s lawsuit against Marriott and several employees of one of the hotel chain’s locations remains ongoing — and the same goes for his NFL Network suspension. 

Irvin’s suspension as an analyst has spanned five months as a source with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports that the Hall of Fame receiver’s status at the NFL-owned outlet remains unchanged. 

Irvin was suspended days before February’s Super Bowl after an encounter with an employee of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel where Irvin was accused of harassment. 

The employee — referred to as “Ms. Doe” and “Jane Doe” in the civil case filed in Maricopa County — hasn’t backed off her allegations, according to court documents obtained by FOS. 

“[Jane Doe] admits she reported to security and management personnel of the hotel that Irvin made inappropriate sexual comments to her, exhibited aggressive body language toward her, and said that he would come back to find her again in the next few evenings,”  lawyers working on behalf of Marriott and the woman wrote. 

Marriott’s lawyers refuted basically all of the allegations laid out in Irvin’s amended complaint on the woman’s behalf, including: 

  • Irvin’s contention that “no harassment, assault or inappropriate conduct occurred during this brief interaction between Mr. Irvin and Ms. Doe.”
  • That video surveillance that Irvin’s lawyers went to great lengths to obtain showed “Ms. Doe returned to work without incident or observable distress after her unremarkable interaction with Mr. Irvin.”
  • Irvin’s legal team’s claims that she “made this false report with actual malice and knowledge as to the falsity of her statements.”
  • Allegations from Irvin’s lawyers that the “Renaissance and Marriott made this false report to the NFL with, at minimum, a reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.”

Irvin’s Dallas-based lawyer, Levi McCathern, and his attorney based in Phoenix, Daniel Dowd, did not respond to FOS. His agent, Steve Mandell, also did not respond to a request for comment. 

This lawsuit is the third filed against Marriott since Irvin was evicted from the Marriott, suspended by NFL Network and had his scheduled appearance the Friday before Super Bowl LVII canceled.

Irvin sought $100 million of damages in the first lawsuit filed in a Texas county court. But his legal team was more interested in the surveillance footage, which was obtained and made public after a federal judge approved an expedited discovery request in March. 

The first lawsuit, along with a federal lawsuit, was dismissed before the current case in Phoenix was filed on March 14. 

Since surveillance footage in public areas by law can’t include audio, the video didn’t exonerate even if Irvin spoke as if it did when it was released. 

“I am so thankful for this video because without it, I just don’t know where this would have gone,” Irvin said in March.

Beyond being sidelined by both NFL Network and ESPN, Irvin claimed in a court filing he’s had “multiple planned public appearances, including appearances with sponsors such as Cigna and PepsiCo and at a fundraiser for the Wounded Warriors Project.”

According to court documents, Irvin has “been forced to cancel important charitable fundraising and other engagements, including his annual Michael Irvin Charity Football Game.”

“He also has not been contacted for any future public appearances or engagements since defendants published their false statements surrounding what allegedly occurred at the hotel,” his lawyers wrote in the amended complaint

With no hearing set in the case, it’s not clear when the case will be resolved as the NFL season inches closer. Meanwhile, what would be his 15th season as an NFL Network analyst remains in limbo. 

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