Vindication! Michael Irvin Settles $100 Million Defamation Suit And Is Cleared To Return To The NFL Network

What a difference a week makes. With NFL Week One commencing, there was no word on whether “The Play Maker” Michael Irvin would regain his duties on the NFL Network amid the accusations lobbed against him during Super Bowl week in Arizona last February.

Now Irvin has dual good news to celebrate as he has settled his defamation lawsuit against Marriott and will return to his NFL Network post in one week but appeared on NFL Game Day on Sunday morning.

“Michael Irvin has been reinstated and will be a part of NFL Network’s coverage of the 2023 season,” said Alex Riethmiller, NFL Media vice president of communication, via a statement to The Dallas Morning Post.

Flag On The Play

The network indefinitely suspended Irvin after a Phoenix Marriott employee claimed that Irvin made sexually improper comments toward her in a hotel lobby during Super Bowl week. Although footage of Irvin in the hotel lobby did not show him doing anything inappropriate, Irvin still suffered the consequences of relief from his duties as an analyst during Super Bowl Week and to date, even though there were no criminal charges.

Although there are no details of how much Irvin settled the lawsuit for, Irvin recently doubled down with a fourth claim for relief.

“Defendants’ actions were intentional, aggravated, and committed with an evil mind and intent to cause injury or in reckless and/or deliberate disregard of an unjustifiably substantial risk of significant harm to Mr. Irvin,” the amended claim read.

“Mr. Irvin is entitled to an award of punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish Defendants and deter them and others similarly situated from engaging in like conduct in the future.”

Frustration Turned Vindication

The frustration with Irvin being sidelined as an analyst was felt by his collaborators on other networks, like Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take.” Irvin was a consistent analyst on the show, and Smith let his frustration known back in July during an episode of his podcast, “The Stephen A. Smith Show.”

“I’ve waited months and months, and I’m still waiting,” Smith said. “I don’t know what Michael Irvin said to that woman. I don’t know what happened. All I’m going by is the evidence that has been placed before us. Ladies and gentlemen, all we have seen is a 45-second video of Michael Irvin talking to this young lady, and then both of them going their separate ways.

“That is it. That is not a reason for a three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer to be unemployed or off the airwaves entertaining us the way this man entertains us,” Smith added.

Irvin has since joined the new rebooted version of “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless and new additions Richard Sherman and Keyshawn Johnson. Now, with a return to the NFL Network and a lawsuit settled, Michael Irvin can return to making plays as a broadcast analyst.

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