As Michael Irvin’s lawsuit against Marriott proceeds through its early phases, Marriott has repeatedly refused to show the surveillance video to Irving or his legal team. Which begs the question, what is really going on here? If there is clear misconduct on the video, then why the delay?
Left waiting in legal limbo is anything but an ideal scenario for the Hall of Fame receiver. Immediately following the initial accusations, Irving was pulled from all Super Bowl coverage, and ESPN canceled his regularly scheduled appearance on First Take. It seems likely that he will not be featured on any major media until a resolution is met, and the video is seen.
Perhaps the host of ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith, got tired of Irving outshining him on his own show and had him set up in Arizona. Seems wild and unlikely, right? Well, so is the fact that Marriott appears to be hiding the video. If there is clear evidence supporting their side of the case, why delay the inevitable?
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, a state-court judge had ordered that the video be provided. Instead of doing so, Marriott moved the case to federal court. It’s now simply a matter of time before the next judge issues a similar ruling in regards to the video needing to be seen by all parties.
At first I assumed the NFL wanted to bury the story to avoid any bad publicity during Super Bowl Week, which makes sense. However, the fact that we are more than a week beyond the big game and still have no further evidence or progress towards a resolution in this lawsuit is odd.
The way it was initially reported, it appeared that this would be an open and shut situation. Video would show Irving acting inappropriately and he would face the consequences of his actions. The longer Marriott delays in providing the video, the more it seems that this was an attack on Irving’s public image and/or an attempt to extort some money from him.