Why is Colts owner Jim Irsay threatening to sue ESPN personalities on First Take? Investigating the real reason

The Indianapolis Colts are having an average season this year. With a 5-5 record and third spot in the AFC South, they are going to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their upcoming games. Unlike other NFL franchise owners, the Colts owner, Jim Irsay, has been very vocal about his take on trendy topics in the sports world.

From gushing about Tom Brady’s successful career to slamming the NFL’s referees for controversial decisions in the Week 7 match, the veteran didn’t shy away from putting his words before everyone. However, one of his recent comments surely hit the headlines frequently, and now he has stepped up to announce taking legal action against some notable hosts for digging into his past.

Why is Jim Irsay threatening to sue ESPN personalities on First Take?

During his recent appearance on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Irsay shed light on some notable incidents of his life, including his addiction and alcoholism habit, as well as his struggles in his early life, including his sister’s death in a car crash and the notorious 2014 arrest.

The veteran raised eyebrows in the NFL community by saying he got detained because he was “prejudiced against” being a “rich, white billionaire”. As his comment became a focal point of discussion, ESPN’s ‘First Take’, which has gained immense popularity lately, also had a segment where hosts Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim, and Kimberley A. Martin discussed it.

Smith labeled him an “old brat,” while the two other hosts severely criticized him, saying “his comments exemplify exactly what people think NFL owners are”, according to SI.com.

The NFL franchise owner didn’t keep calm as well and took to X to deliver a stern warning to them, saying he would sue them for their takes.

“1st take,your gonna get your ass Sued,because there was NO Alcohol,No illegal Drugs/ $29,000 dollars is low for me to be carrying in ,2014 arrest/I give away $2000-$10,000 dollars to the homeless and needed on the street,All the time and pass it on,making the world better.”

The veteran made a series of social media posts following that. In one post, he tagged Smith and asked him “to get a life” while in another one, he mentioned his family’s economic crisis in his childhood. The 61-year-old made an X post aimed at Martin as well, saying he doesn’t even know her name and called her “mean” and “ugly”.

“And on 1st Take,the Woman that preceded Stephen A… how dare you pretend to know me; I don’t know your name and I don’t care to. If my Black Mother Dorthy was still alive..you’d be in some big Hot Water! You are mean and ugly. Your a Nothing Burger.”

Meanwhile, the female analyst came up with a counterattack by changing her name on X to “Woman that preceded Stephen A”. She also quoted the last post to make a grammatical correction, adding extra excitement to the ongoing brawl.

Why was Jim Irsay arrested back in 2014?

Irsay was arrested by an Indiana police officer in March 2014 as he was driving a Toyota Highlander erratically at 10 mph in a 35mph zone, according to a police report obtained by the Indianapolis Star. A $29,029 in cash in a briefcase along with a laundry bag was found with him.

The police officer also reported that the Colts owner’s speech was slurred and that he almost fell down while getting interviewed. He was reportedly recovering from alcoholism, and a toxicology test of the veteran following the incident revealed he consumed the prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Jim Irsay
Sports Illustrated

The NFL suspended the veteran for the first six Colts games in the following season and also slapped him with a hefty $500,000 fine. He was also asked to refrain from using social media to discuss his franchise or the league, besides not being able to go to the team’s facilities.

The league barred the owner from participating in league committee meetings as well. He later pleaded guilty to “one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, and admitted to having the alleged drugs.

What’s your take on Jim Irsay’s latest claim? Tell us in the comments.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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