On Monday I wrote about the controversy that followed Suzy Kolber’s ESPN interview with Mark Ingram Jr., who cried on the stage at the NFL draft after being read an e-mail from his father, the incarcerated former NFL player Mark Ingram Sr. Today I heard from Ingram Sr.’s lawyer, who put Kolber in touch with his client and who praised Kolber and ESPN for their handling of the interview.
“Suzy Kolber could not have been more professional and appropriate,” attorney James Neville said. “Sure, she was looking for a story, but isn’t that what journalists do?”
Some journalists, including Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated and Pete Prisco of CBS, wrote that Kolber was trying to ambush Ingram Jr. by catching him at an emotional time with an emotional message from his father, but Neville said Ingram Jr.’s tears were tears of joy. Neville said he was proud to have played a part in arranging for Ingram Sr. to send an e-mail to Kolber that Kolber could read to Ingram Jr.
“Those wonderful, positive sentiments that were read by Suzy Kolber of ESPN to Mark, Jr. after he was selected by New Orleans were from an e-mail that Mark, Sr. sent to me, which I, sitting in Radio City, forwarded to Ms. Kolber,” Neville said. “I just loved it. Mark, Jr.’s mom, grandmother, and sisters had traveled to New York to be with him. Now, he had his Dad there, too.”
Ingram Sr. is scheduled to be released from prison in November 2014. He’s hoping to take in a Saints game then.