Back in November, Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach and running game coordinator Sean Kugler was sent home from Mexico City and fired a few days later by head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the organization.
The decision to send Kugler home from the game came after allegations surfaced that he inappropriately touched a woman while traveling with the team.
Earlier this week, the law firm Shields Petitti, representing Kugler, filed a request for arbitration.
The law firm’s release flatly calls the allegations against its client false, stating that the Cardinals released Kugler without a thorough investigation and without questioning him about the alleged incident.
“The allegations against Coach Kugler are simply untrue and have caused tremendous personal and professional harm to Sean, his wife and family,” said Michael Petitti, Shields Petitti. “Coach and his family were keen to hear from the Cardinals front office and others what reasons or evidence were used to terminate him for good cause.”
Kugler’s statement in the press release is broadly what you would expect in such a situation, but notice the part we’ve put in bold.
“Respect for women is a core value that I instilled in my children and the players I coach,” said coach Kugler. “The Cardinals’ mysterious allegations are untrue and I want to clear my name. Be it a communication error or wrong identity, my family and I will work fully and honestly with the NFL, the Cardinals or any other authority to determine the truth on this matter and restore my reputation. There are incredible people working in the game – from the league level to my players, my fellow coaches and incredible support staff. I just want to get back to doing what I love and for my family to be at peace.”
Certainly the intentional mention of “miscommunication or mistaken identity” was no coincidence. Could it be a mix-up?
Well, it’s ironic what is mentioned when looking at the circumstances that followed the lawsuit.
On December 14th, the very day that the law firm Shields Petitti filed the request for arbitration, Cardinals GM Steve Keim decides to take a leave of absence for health reasons. Seems strange doesn’t it? Maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Looking at the following photos of Kugler and Keim side by side, could Kugler’s mention of a possible mistaken identity hold any value?
For what it’s worth, Ian Rapoport shares the following from the Cardinals:
“As an ongoing legal matter, we will refrain from comment other than to say that the team is confident that the proceedings will result in a number of facts very different from those presented today and that they had good reason to to terminate Mr. Kugler’s employment relationship.”
Considering the mentioned timeline, you are the judge. Until there is a full and thorough investigation into the matter, we will not know for sure.
Until then, stay tuned to The Scoop for updates