Michael Irvin: Cris Carter told my wife to leave me when I had coke problem

Michael-Irvin-Colts-Garbage-Without-Peyton-ManningMichael Irvin offered a powerful defense of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon during an interview with the Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday. More specifically, Irvin spoke out against fellow Hall of Famer Cris Carter in the wake of Carter’s assertion that the Browns should cut Gordon.

Carter compared Gordon’s situation to his own, with the Philadelphia Eagles having cut Carter in 1990. Carter credits Buddy Ryan for giving him the motivation to get sober and get his life on track by releasing him. Irvin cautioned that the tough love approach doesn’t work for everyone.

“Dan, this is a brain disease. Addiction is a brain disease,” Irvin told Le Batard, via Ryan Cortes of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach. “You know, we act as if someone should…How can you make that decision? You must be stupid. He’s not. That’s why they call substances dope. Because it makes you less intelligent and you make the poor decision. It’s a brain disease. And it affects everybody differently.

“Now, isolation for Cris may have been the best thing. Separation, for Cris, may have been the best thing. For Josh, maybe it’s the worst thing…”

Irvin then got personal. The former Dallas Cowboys star’s cocaine addiction in the 1990s was well-documented. Irvin was a known party animal who used cocaine and then dominated on Sundays. During that time, he claims Carter told his wife to leave him.

“I’m going to put a little personal on this even though I love Cris to death,” Irvin said. “I don’t know what year it was we were in the Pro Bowl. And all Cris is trying to do, he’s just trying to share his experiences. He said to my wife, ‘You know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him.’ Till you leave him.

“For years, I’ve held it. I’ve never shared that with anybody. I’ve never in my life shared that with anybody. I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His ass is out of line now. He is out of line.”

While it doesn’t sound like Carter had terrible intentions when he allegedly told Irvin’s wife to leave him, you can see why Irvin is angry. Just because Carter credits his release from the Eagles for getting his life on track doesn’t mean that approach works for everyone. Having said that, Gordon’s path gets worse by the day. Something has to be done.

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  • toddbook

    Good for Cris Carter. Irvin should understand that. When you have an addiction as powerful as that you bring everyone down and if you are not ready to fight it, people should leave at least until you are going to confront it. Cris was just looking for the best interest of Irvin’s wife when Michael wasn’t.

  • Mark Wheeler

    I understand what Irvin is saying but the bottom line is before behavior is going to change, there must be consequences for that behavior. I think that is what Carter is getting at.

  • awfulorv

    I still don’t understand what it was that caused most blacks not to like Tim Tebow?

  • Douglas Bath

    I would encourage any woman to leave a coke addict. Does that make me a terrible person?

  • Vince Barner

    “Cris was just looking out for the best interest of Irvin’s wife…?” Good or Cris? Really Todd, what world do you live in, my man? Where I’m from, we don’t get down like that…IJS

  • toddbook

    Really, I’ve seen addicts destroy the lives of everyone around them. All they care about is their addiction and it takes hitting absolute rock bottom before they admit that there is even a problem. They don’t care about their own well being, not to mention the people they claim to love. I live in the real world and in more cases than not, that is the reality of it all.

  • Larry Hillmon


  • toddbook

    GLAD YOU FOUND THE CAPS LOCK KEY! Who knows what the discussion between Carter and Michael’s wife was or how bad it actually got for her. In many cases it’s best that you get yourself out of the situation for your own safety and so the addict can confront it. We don’t know exactly what their situation was. There are times when leaving is the best solution for all involved.

  • TBall

    Kudo’s for Chris Carter – always admired him. As for Irvin, one doper defending another, yawn.

  • Chris R

    All I can say is look at how quickly Carter seemed to overcome his addiction, and look at how long Irvin continued and it was covered up and “dealt with”.

    I would tend to side with the guy that cleaned up his act and went on to become one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game over the guy who continued to be an ass-hat through his playing days and well into his life as an analyst.

    As for the thing with Irvin’s wife, I can see Carter trying to help him when he was spiraling out of control. But perhaps suggesting a guy’s wife should leave him might be a little out of bounds.