Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman walked off an interview with ESPN2’s “Highly Questionable” hosts Bomani Jones and Dan Le Batard, but did not reveal what prompted the move.
Merriman appeared on the show to promote his upcoming charity event, the 11th Annual Lights On Foundation Coat Drive. During the interview, Jones and Le Batard asked the former San Diego Chargers star about his playing career, his past use of performance-enhancing drugs and his relationship with reality television star Tila Tequila, Deadspin reports. However, the segment took an interesting turn when the hosts began to ask Merriman about his difficult childhood.
At some point during the taped interview, Merriman mentioned the fact that he had lost two homes to fires during his rough childhood in Maryland. Jones and Le Batard sought to find out more about the story, asking Merriman a series of follow-up questions. The former NFL star calmly stood up from his chair, thanked the hosts and walked out of the interview, leaving Jones and Le Betard in stunned silence.
The reason behind Merriman’s decision to walk off remains unclear; he never gave any indication that he was upset with the questions about his childhood. However, Le Batard addressed the interview on his Nov. 21 radio show, which took place shortly after the taping of the Merriman interview, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the ESPN2 personality, Merriman’s publicist grew angry when the hosts asked the ex-football player about Tequila, and likely told his client to walk off the interview in protest.
On Wednesday, Merriman and Jones each took to Twitter to address the incident. “Mr Walk off #LightsOut [sic],” Merriman wrote.
In his tweets, Jones provided a bit more perspective on the interview snafu. “I don’t know why merriman got up, but if you say “i lost two homes in a fire,” more questions are coming. we weren’t wrong for that [sic],” Jones wrote. “and if you know a little about me and interviews, i’m really not much for prying. but “we lost two houses in fires?” you just move on???”
A video of Merriman’s “Highly Questionable” interview can be viewed below.