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Colts’ Jim Irsay on 2014 arrest: ‘I am prejudiced against because I’m a rich, White billionaire’

Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay was arrested in 2014 and pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated (OWI), which led to a six-game suspension and a $500,000 fine from the NFL.

Irsay opened up about the arrest during his appearance on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” saying the arrest was “wrong” as he just had hip surgery and was asked to walk in a straight line. Police found pill bottles in his vehicle. He said that was the reason why he could not walk.

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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay before the start of their game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on Sunday, Sept., 8, 2019. (Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK)

He then told Andrea Kremer his social status was the catalyst for why he was arrested in the first place. 

“I am prejudiced against because I’m a rich, White billionaire,” Irsay said. “If I’m just the average guy down the block, they’re not pulling me in, of course not.”

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Jim Irsay in Jacksonville

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during a fan event at Chicago Meatpackers before an International Series game against the New England Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 10, 2023. (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Irsay, 64, then doubled down on his remark.

“I don’t care what it sounds like. It’s the truth. You know, Andrea, I could give a damn what people think how anything sounds or sounds like. The truth is the truth and I know the truth.”

He said he pleaded guilty “just to get it over with.”

The Carmel, Indiana, Police Department pushed back on Irsay’s claim of prejudice.

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Jim Irsay in 2021

Jim Irsay attends the 15th Annual HOPE luncheon seminar honoring Michael Phelps at The Plaza on Nov. 10, 2021 in New York City. (Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

“We are very sorry to hear that comment about our officers and our department,” officials told the Indianapolis Star. “We have a very professional agency consisting of officers that strive to protect our community with integrity and professionalism.”

Irsay took ownership of the Colts in 1995 after a legal battle following the death of his father. Since then, the Colts saw massive success with Peyton Manning as their quarterback, but have been in flux since he left the team and Andrew Luck abruptly retired.

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