Marriott: NFL interviewed employee, reviewed video in Michael Irvin case


In connection with his Super Bowl-week suspensions by NFL Network and ESPN, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin has sued only Marriott. For now.

NFL Network (and, in turn, the NFL) could have potential liability to Irvin. A recent court filing made by Marriott underscores the possibility.

In a Friday motion aimed at preventing Irvin’s lawyers from releasing the surveillance video and limiting the things said publicly about the case, Marriott put plenty of its cards on the table regarding the allegations made against Irvin. Many of those specific allegations (unsupported by any affidavits or other actual evidence) were reported by Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News and explained in a Saturday item here.

But there’s much more, as it relates to the NFL’s role in the process that culminated in the decision to remove Irvin from the network for the week preceding the Super Bowl.

Marriott contends in its motion that, the day after the incident, the NFL “sent its investigator to the Hotel and asked if the Victim was willing to speak with her.” The unnamed Marriott employee agreed to the interview, repeating her version of the interaction with Irvin.

“The NFL investigator then asked to review the video and the Hotel allowed her to do so,” Marriott’s lawyers wrote. “Following her review of the video, the NFL investigator escalated the matter and additional NFL personnel quickly arrived at the Hotel.”

Marriott’s lawyers contend that, from this point forward, the NFL took over the situation, culminating in Irvin being removed from the hotel.

These allegations raise plenty of questions, and they necessitate thorough discovery efforts to learn things said to NFL employees and by NFL employees.

It appears that the unnamed employee of the Marriott hotel repeated her version of the events multiple times. How consistent, or not, will those versions be? How consistent, or not, will they be with the detailed and at times graphic account in Marriott’s motion?

The question of how far this escalated both within the NFL and Marriott organizationals charts also needs to be resolved. Who was involved in the decision making? Did everyone agree? Was the evidence at any point embellished or exaggerated to secure the necessary approvals to take Irvin off the air?

Those and many other questions will need to be answered, at some point. For now, the point is that the NFL (based on Marriott’s latest motion) became heavily involved in the process. At a minimum, that will make the NFL and multiple employees key sources of evidence for Irvin’s case against Marriott. It also could result in the NFL becoming a party to the case — added to the proceedings directly by Irvin or as a third-party defendant by Marriott.

There’s one more wrinkle to watch. ESPN at some point decided to take Irvin off the air. Where and how and when did ESPN get its information? Did it come from Marriott, or did it come from the NFL directly?

And so, while the core questions in this matter flow from what was said and done by Irvin during his interaction with the unnamed Marriott employee, important collateral questions exist regarding the things the NFL did to explore the situation, the things said by and between NFL and Marriott employees, and the things possibly said by and between NFL and/or Marriott employees and ESPN.

17 responses to “Marriott: NFL interviewed employee, reviewed video in Michael Irvin case

  1. This is going to get ugly. Or Irvin is going to get money to shut up and go away. Bad look for the shield

  2. Curious why Marriott doesn’t have the affidavits from the employee and all witnesses already to wave under Irvins nose.

  3. So the NFL investigated immediately and determined that had to get Irvin out of the hotel and off their telecast. Pretty sure Marriott’s lawyers will call them as witnesses.

  4. The NFL either always overreacts or does absolutely nothing. They never find that middle-ground, sweet spot of fairness & objectivity.

  5. Alot of nothing going on until people get in the stand giving testimony and actual evidence is shown/heard. Innocent until proven otherwise and if truly innocent, I hope he gets his pound of flesh. If he’s guilty he needs to go away once and for all.

  6. As a trial attorney, I’m not liking anything Marriott has done in this case. None of it. But the reason it didn’t attach affidavits regarding the facts of the encounter and the investigation to its Motion for Protective Order is because those affidavits are not germane or needed for the protective order. It attached 2 affidavits to the motion. 1 regarding post-publicity threats the hotel had received and 1 regarding attempts to reach an agreement with opposing counsel on a protective order. That was the issue before the court. Issues of fact will come later with dispositive motions.

  7. So far, I’m left hoping that both Marriott and this employee have to pay up. Even if Irvin said something completely boorish—and I have yet to see anything that corroborates this—how does the punishment fit the crime?

  8. You know, if the NFL took that level of scrutiny in this case, and decided to remove him from the coverage, maybe there is more credibility to the woman’s case. Not that the attorneys from Marriott have done her any favors

  9. Teenage boys have some liquid courage to talk to girls. Michael is a grown up and a married man who seems to drink to make poor decisions. It’s going to be some uncomfortable times in the Irvin household now that he will be unemployed and spending more time at home with his bride. Lots of references to God in his HOF speech…time to start walking the walk and talking the talk.

  10. NFL loses, NFL Network loses, ESPN, Mariott loses, accuser loses and Michael Irvin wins ($$$) and loses because he’ll no longer be on NFL Network and ESPN. Irvin loves his job on NFL Network and he is good on their Sunday Morning Pre-game Show.

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