The most recent development in the ongoing legal conflict between Michael Irvin and Marriott took place Wednesday morning. Irvin held a press conference in Dallas to speak directly to the media for the first time about the allegations leveled against him by an unidentified accuser last month.
The press conference was held seemingly in response to Marriott's failure to satisfactorily comply (according to Irvin's attorney Levi McCathern) with a court order that was to be fulfilled by 5 pm Tuesday evening.
The court order from District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III directed Marriott to turn over surveillance video and other materials relevant to Michael Irvin's case.
Irvin himself had not been made privy to the nature of the accusations against him.
According to court documents filed by his attorney, knowledge of the allegations, the identity of the accuser, and the identities of those involved with handling the initial complaint were pertinent to Irvin's ability to clear his name and resume his broadcasting career.
FULFILLING THE COURT ORDER
McCathern was first to speak at the press conference.
After detailing the events and court filings that led to where things stand now, he described what happened when he attempted to retrieve the materials Marriott was ordered to provide.
“The deadline to give us the information was yesterday,” he said describing the encounter with Marriott's legal counsel. “When I appeared yesterday to get the video, to see the video, I was not allowed to make a copy of it. I was not allowed to take a copy. I was not allowed to use my cellphone to make a copy. We believe these things were in violation of the court's order.” McCathern continued, “Now, what is so damning about a video that was taken in a public lobby that they're now using to try to destroy this man's livelihood and reputation that they won't just release it?”
Later, McCathern informed reporters of what he said to Marriott's legal counsel.
According to his account, in an attempt to obtain a copy of the video, he said:
“I made a statement to the Marriott counsel that I think is pretty telling. I said, ‘Would you rather like the press to hear my description of what the video shows? Or would you rather just show them the video?' Well, clearly you know his answer by the fact that I am here describing it to you.”
When the “premier litigation lawyer of Texas,” as McCathern is often described, shared his recollection of the surveillance video, he said that there was a pole in the lobby that blocked the view of the initial interaction between Michael Irvin and the accuser.
The rest of their interaction, according to the attorney, involved laughter and a couple of moments when Irvin touched the accuser on the elbow.
McCathern says the accuser did not seem bothered or upset by anything that occurred.
Michael Irvin's attorney, Levi McCathern described the surveillance video from Marriott.
There was a pole blocking part of the interaction, and "he touched her a total of four times."
McCathern was not allowed a copy of the video. No mention of angles from other cameras
🎥 @wfaa pic.twitter.com/65ru7JzKNb
MICHAEL IRVIN SPEAKS PUBLICLY
This press conference was Michael Irvin's first time speaking directly and publicly about what took place in Phoenix.
He described his experience as a modern-day lynching saying:
“This sickens me. Because in this great country, this takes me back to a time where a white woman would accuse a Black man of something, and they would take a bunch of guys that were above the law, run in the barn, put a rope around his foot, and drag him through the mud and hang him by the tree. Not a thought about what would happen. Not an investigation.”
He continued, “This just blows my mind that in 2023, we still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree.”
Regarding modern times, Irvin seemed to be speaking proverbially in order to convey his feelings about losing so much professionally, his livelihood being impacted, and his family being impacted without being told of what he was being accused of and without an opportunity to adequately defend himself before suffering said consequences.
Those were the points at the crux of his statement.
"This sickens me."
Michael Irvin compared his situation to a racially motivated lynching. pic.twitter.com/yzZgRN9vnq
— Bitches Love Sports Podcast (@BtchesLuvSports) March 8, 2023
A couple of witnesses gave their accounts of the incident via Zoom.
Phil Watkins joined virtually from Australia. Bryn Davis, a self-professed Eagles fan, joined the press conference from the UK.
They both described meeting Michael Irvin, taking pictures with him, returning to the lobby, and seeing him talk and laugh with the unnamed accuser.
Neither witness described anything as being inappropriate or out of the ordinary.
After hearing the witnesses describe their experiences that night, Irvin decided to speak again. This time, he was even more emotional.
He said that he tries to be an ambassador to the league and lift people up. Now, he finds himself “struggling” with what to do moving forward. He wondered aloud if had he not stopped to take pictures with fans, would this entire state of affairs have been avoided?
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASE
Levi McCathern clarified that neither he nor Michael Irvin knew of the exact allegations against the Hall of Famer until yesterday. He did not share details of the allegation verbatim, however.
Because McCathern and Irvin are dissatisfied with Marriott's handling of their legal responsibilities, an emergency plaintiff's motion has been filed to enforce the previous court order.
McCathern filed the motion Wednesday morning before the press conference.
McCathern says he hopes to be able to obtain a copy of the video in order to share it publicly. He hopes that the public will agree that the allegations against Irvin are “nonsense.”
The agreement he seeks may have already occurred preemptively.
As the press conference was broadcast live by WFAA, the ABC affiliate of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the audience was allowed to comment via text in a live chat section of the YouTube live stream.
Towards the end of the press conference, several supporters of Irvin called for a boycott of Marriott hotels.
Whether or not that particular movement picks up steam, support of and agreement with Michael Irvin are definitely not lacking among those following this case.