Fired Cardinals coach says he may have been victim of mistaken identity in Mexico
Former Arizona Cardinals assistant coach Sean Kugler has denied any wrongdoing in the alleged incident that led to him being fired last month, and his defense is that Mexican authorities may have had the wrong guy.
The Cardinals were in Mexico City for their Week 11 game against the San Francisco 49ers when they were informed by Mexican authorities that Kugler allegedly groped a woman. The team sent the former offensive line coach/running game coordinator home and later terminated him.
Earlier this week, the law firm of Shields Petitti filed a request for arbitration with the NFL on behalf of Kugler. The 56-year-old Kugler denied any wrongdoing and said in a statement released by the firm that he may have been a victim of “miscommunication or 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 Jeremy Cluff of the Arizona Republic. “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.”
Shields Petitti also said the Cardinals did not interview Kugler or conduct a thorough investigation.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reached out to the Cardinals about the latest development. The team said they are confident they had good cause to fire Kugler.
Kugler, 56, had been with the Cardinals since 2019. He originally served as their offensive line coach and then added run game coordinator duties in 2021.