Michael Irvin cried as he denied allegations against him at a news conference in Dallas on Thursday.
Irvin filed a $100 million lawsuit against Marriott after an employee at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel claimed he made “harassing and inappropriate” comments to her in a lobby on Feb. 5.
The NFL Network sent Irvin home from Phoenix, where he was scheduled to cover Super Bowl events for the network and ESPN.
Irvin has been suspended from both networks while the investigation into the harassment allegation continues. Sources say he is running low on cash.
Irvin, 56, was flanked by his two attorneys who said they viewed video of the Feb. 5 incident but they were not allowed to keep a copy of the video. Irvin still has not seen the video.
Attorney Levi McCathern said Irvin twice brushed up against the employee’s elbow and he shook her hand twice during the encounter that lasted one minute.
McCathern described the allegations against the Football Hall of Famer as “nonsense.”
“The allegations are nonsense. We need to immediately get Michael back to work,” he said.
Two witnesses called into the news conference via Zoom. They backed Irvin’s claims of innocence.
Irvin compared his ordeal to Black people being lynched in the South in the early 1900s.
“This sickens me,” Irvin said. “It 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 a barn, put a rope around his foot and drag him through the mud and hang him by a tree.”
“How can I defend myself if I don’t know what I am being accused of? I don’t even know what this woman looks like. That blows my mind that in 2023, we’re still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree. (I) know I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Watch the video below.