Michael Irvin returned to NFL Network on Sunday after being suspended since February when a woman accused him of improper conduct at a hotel she worked at.
via: NBC Sports
Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports that Irvin has settled his $100 million defamation lawsuit against Marriott, and that allowed Irvin to appear on NFL Network’s Game Day studio show Sunday morning.
It’s not a coincidence. The NFL would have found itself neck deep in the litigation, given that Marriott claimed it passed the complaint along to the NFL pursuant to the league’s express instructions. If the Irvin case had proceeded, the league eventually would have been asked to produce documents and potentially to make witnesses available for testimony as to what the league did or didn’t do when investigating the complaint and deciding to suspend Irvin.
This means that Irvin’s protracted suspension likely had less to do with the Personal Conduct Policy than the NFL’s desire to avoid being involved in the case between Irvin and Marriott. Which makes sense. Whatever he allegedly said to the hotel employee amounted to off-duty conduct involving someone who wasn’t a co-worker. It’s simply not the kind of thing for which an employer should discipline an employee.
And it’s the kind of standard the NFL surely didn’t want to set for other non-players, particularly owners.
The settlement will likely remain confidential. If Irvin knew he needed to settle in order to return to NFL Network, he might have taken less than he could have gotten later in the process.
Regardless, Irvin will be back on NFLN, just a couple of weeks after joining Fox and FS1, where he has quickly become a fixture on Undisputed and on the Big Noon Kickoff college football pregame show.
In the end, Irvin swapped his part-time gig with ESPN for a part-time gig with Fox. And perhaps the part-time gig with Fox will keep growing, culminating in Irvin taking one of the seats at the Fox NFL Sunday desk when some of the older members of the show retire.
Michael Irvin returned to NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning Sunday after settling his defamation lawsuit against Marriott. "Good to be back." pic.twitter.com/MxtXcAK6Fi
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 10, 2023