The Indianapolis Colts had a brief response after a bombshell report by TMZ on Wednesday claimed that team owner Jim Irsay was found unresponsive and gasping for air by police during a suspected overdose on Dec. 8.
The team initially announced on Jan. 9 that the 64-year-old was being treated for a “severe respiratory illness” and they reiterated those health issues on Wednesday in wake of the new information.
“Mr. Irsay continues to recover from his respiratory illness,” the Colts said in a statement Wednesday. “We will have no further comment on his personal health, and we continue to ask that Jim and his family’s privacy be respected.”
According to ESPN, the Colts have fielded questions about Irsay’s whereabouts in recent weeks before announcing the owner would miss a scheduled show with his band.
It was reported on Wednesday that Irsay was found in his Carmel, Ind. home on the bathroom floor, his skin having turned blue.
When police arrived, they administered Narcan — a medicine used to quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — before paramedics transferred him to the hospital, the gossip site reported.
Police labeled the incident an “overdose” and “overdose/poisoning.”
Irsay revealed to HBO Sports in November a past usage of opioids and other drugs and that he’d been to rehab “at least 15 times” and needed to be revived after a near-fatal incident.
“The doctor goes, ‘Um, Jim, you’re one lucky man because I had signed virtually the death certificate,” Irsay told Andrea Kramer on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
He attributed his addiction to painkillers to a series of surgeries over the years, including hip and shoulder procedures that have limited his mobility.
In 2020, the Irsay family launched the Kick the Stigma campaign, “an initiative to raise awareness about mental health and remove the stigma often associated with mental health disorders.”