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Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay Claims He Was Arrested In 2014 For Being A ‘Rich, White Billionaire’


Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, claimed in a recently published interview that after being arrested for driving under the influence in 2014, he was “prejudiced against” because he was a “rich, White billionaire.”

In an HBO interview that aired on Tuesday, Irsay, 64, claimed that his wealth and status were the reason behind his arrest even though he had pled guilty later that year to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

“I am prejudiced against because I’m a rich, White billionaire,” Irsay said in an interview with Andrea Kremer on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

“If I’m just the average guy down the block, they’re not pulling me in, of course not,” added Irsay, whose net worth is $4.3 billion, according to Forbes.

The Colts and the Carmel Police Department have been contacted by CNN for comments.

Lt. DJ Schoeff of the Carmel Police said, “We are very sorry to hear that comment about our officers and our department,” in a statement provided to the Indianapolis Star.

“We have a very professional agency consisting of officers that strive to protect our community with integrity and professionalism,” the statement added.

Irsay was taken into custody on March 16, 2014, in Carmel, Indiana, and charged with both possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Police reported that they discovered prescription medications in pill bottles at the scene of the arrest. According to the police, there were no prescription bottles in the car that were connected to the drugs.

Irsay was found to have oxycodone and hydrocodone in his system when he was taken into custody, based on evidence presented in court.

The Colts owner’s eyes were “red and glassy,” his speech was “slow and slurred,” and his balance was “very unsteady,” according to the probable cause affidavit. He told an officer “that he was having a hard time finding his house,” struggled to recite the alphabet, and failed multiple field sobriety tests.

Irsay was fined $500,000 for breaking the NFL’s personal conduct policy and was suspended by the league for the Colts’ first six regular-season games of that season.

Irsay voluntarily checked himself into a rehabilitation center after his arrest. He has previously discussed his battles with addiction in public.

The longtime Colts owner said he didn’t care when Kremer asked if he was aware of how his accusations of prejudice might come across to the general public.

Irsay said that he could “barely walk at all” and that he only pled guilty to the misdemeanor in order to “get it over with,” attributing the failure of the sobriety test to a bad hip that required surgery.

“It’s the truth. I couldn’t give a damn what people think, how anything sounds or sounds like. The truth is the truth,” he added.

Online, Irsay’s claims of prejudice drew harsh criticism, with ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith labeling them as “ridiculous.”

“It just shows how detached he is,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take.

In response to the online criticism, Irsay—who has owned the Colts since 1997—posted on X, a platform that was formerly known as Twitter, writing, “There was NO alcohol, No illegal drugs.”

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