Michael Irvin Taken Off NFL Network Super Bowl Coverage
Michael Irvin's particular brand of high-energy analysis will be absent from Super Bowl coverage this week. The Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday that NFL Network has sidelined the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver this week after a woman accused Irvin of misconduct during an interaction on Sunday evening in Arizona.
Irvin spoke to the Dallas Morning News and strongly denied the allegation, insisting that they had a very brief conversation in a lobby and that was it:
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin will not make any of his scheduled NFL Network appearances for the remainder of Super Bowl week after a woman complained about his conduct during an encounter Sunday evening in Arizona.
Irvin described the interaction to The Dallas Morning News as a brief, public and largely non-physical encounter. He said he engaged in no physical contact with the woman beyond a handshake when they parted ways.
“What law did I break?” Irvin said. “There was definitely nothing physical. … That’s honestly all that happened. Nobody was in my room. It was a 45-second conversation in the lobby, a handshake and we left. … I don’t know. I don’t know what this is, and it’s running me crazy.”
NFL Network told the Dallas Morning News that Irvin would not be present during its coverage this week but did not give further detail. ESPN, which often brings Irvin onto First Take to spar with Stephen A. Smith, declined comment.
Pretty odd situation here. You rarely see personalities give that strong of a public denial so soon after being accused of misconduct. Furthermore, what could have happened in that one-minute interaction that caused the network to immediately pull Irvin from all scheduled appearances?
Irvin gave further context on Wednesday morning. He appeared on Shan & RJ on Audacy's 105.3 The Fan to explain what happened from his perspective. Per the New York Post:
“Sunday night … when I came into the hotel, they asked what I did and I said, ‘I just went straight to the room,’ Irvin said. “But I guess I had met somebody in the lobby. Talked to somebody in the lobby for about a minute and then I went to my room. And then after I got up there, they said they had to move me in the hotel. I said, ‘Move me in the hotel for what?'”
“So they moved my hotel, and I said, ‘What’s going on guys? What’s happening? Why are are we moving hotels?’ They said, ‘Well, last night you walked in, you talked to somebody.’ I said, ‘I didn’t talk to anybody. I went straight to the room.’ And then they showed it on camera that I did talk to somebody. I talked to this girl for about a minute. I don’t know what — they didn’t show it to me. They told it to me. I didn’t see it. But that’s why they moved me, because I guess the girl said I said something to her within that minute that we talked, and so they moved me.”
“That’s why I’m kind of hiding to wait and see how everything comes down,” Irvin continued. “It was a minute meeting somewhere in the lobby. I don’t even remember it really because I had a few drinks, to tell you the truth.”
There is undoubtedly more to this story, but at the very least it does not sound like Irvin will re-appear on-screen at any time this week. NFL Network's statement to the Dallas Morning News left little room for interpretation on that front.