Michael Irvin sues Marriott over incident at Super Bowl


Former NFL player Michael Irvin has filed a lawsuit against Marriott International and an unnamed female employee at one of its hotels in Arizona over an incident that took place Sunday night that resulted in NFL Network and ESPN canceling Irvin’s appearances ahead of this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The lawsuit, filed in Collin County, Tex. — where Irvin resides — seeks damages in excess of $100 million because the accusation tarnished Irvin’s “relationship with the League and its network” and caused Irvin to lose “several planned paid appearances,” his lawyer, Levi McCathern, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

“It is clear Michael is the latest victim of our cancel culture where all it takes is an accusation to ruin a person’s life,” McCathern said in the statement. “Michael looks forward to clearing his name in court and hopes the court of public opinion will see the truth come out as well.”

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Marriott International did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NFL Network said it had no further comment about Irvin’s status with the network after confirming earlier this week that he was being removed from its Super Bowl coverage.

According to the lawsuit, Irvin was told to stay at “the designated NFL hotel for the Super Bowl this year,” which is a Marriott Renaissance in downtown Phoenix. Irvin had a “brief, friendly interaction with a Marriott employee lasting no longer than one minute” that ended with the Pro Football Hall of Famer shaking her hand and returning to his hotel room alone, the lawsuit says.

After Irvin went to sleep in his room, the lawsuit says, he was roused by members of the hotel’s security team, who told him he had to leave the hotel after a hotel employee told a manager that Irvin had acted improperly toward her. Later in the week, NFL Network — where Irvin has worked since 2009 — and ESPN canceled Irvin’s scheduled appearances ahead of the Super Bowl (his last NFL Network appearance was Monday night).

The lawsuit contends that the interaction between Irvin and the hotel employee was seen by multiple witnesses who will testify on his behalf, and that hotel officials refused to interview those people before filing a complaint against Irvin with the NFL.

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In an interview with a Dallas radio station Wednesday, Irvin admitted he did not remember the encounter with the employee because it was so brief and because he “had a few drinks” before returning to the hotel. He told the Dallas Morning News that he’s “a bit baffled with it all. This all happened in a 45-second conversation in the lobby. When I got back after going out … I came into the lobby, and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds.

“We shook hands. Then I left. … That’s all I know.”

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