Last month the Cardinals fired offensive line coach Sean Kugler after their game in Mexico City after Mexican authorities told the team he’d groped a woman the night before the game, according to ESPN. The team sent Kugler back to Arizona and announced the firing Tuesday but declined to explain the reasoning for the decision.
In his first statement since the firing, Kugler says he is innocent and mentions this may be a case of “mistaken identity.”
“Respecting women is a core value for me, and something I have instilled in my children and the players that I coach,” Kugler said, via FootballScoop. “The mysterious allegations by the Cardinals are untrue, and I want to clear my name. Be it a miscommunication or mistaken identity, my family and I will cooperate fully and honestly with the NFL, Cardinals, or any other agency to get to the truth in this matter and restore my reputation. There are incredible people that work in the game—from league level to my players, fellow coaches, and incredible support staff. I simply want to get back to doing what I love, and would like my family to have peace.”
Kugler’s lawyer, Michael Petitti of Shields Petitti, expressed how this decision has impacted Kugler and his family.
“The allegations against Coach Kugler are simply untrue and have caused Sean, his wife and family enormous personal and professional damage,” Petitti said. “Coach and his family have been desperate to understand from the Cardinals front office and others what rationale or evidence was used to terminate him for cause.”
The veteran offensive line coach has spent the last 27 years as either a college or NFL assistant coach, primarily focusing on the offensive line. He had been with the Cardinals since Kliff Kingsbury took over in 2019.
As an organization, the Cardinals have dealt with off-field issues with multiple members of the organization. Running backs coach James Saxon was placed on administrative leave during training camp and later resigned after being charged with two counts of domestic battery stemming from a May incident. This week, the team announced that general manager Steve Keim was taking an indefinite leave of absence for a health-related issue.