Fired Cardinals assistant denies wrongdoing in Mexico

Fired Cardinals assistant coach Sean Kugler has filed a request for arbitration with the NFL, denying wrongdoing that led to his dismissal from the team before Arizona’s game in Mexico City last month.

The law firm of Shields Petitti filed the request with the NFL earlier this week.

‘Respecting women is a core value for me, and something I have instilled in my children and the players that I coach,’ Kugler stated in a release issued by the law firm. ‘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 was sent home from Mexico City on Nov. 21 before the team’s 38-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

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A statement from Shields Petitti said that Kugler was sent hom for ‘unsubstantiated allegations that he inappropriately touched a female security guard.’

It also said that the Cardinals did not interview Kugler or conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations.

‘The allegations against Coach Kugler are simply untrue and have caused Sean, his wife and family enormous personal and professional damage,’ Michael Petitti of Shields Petitti said in a statement. ‘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.’

Kugler had been the Cardinals’ running game coordinator and chief offensive line coach.

He had been part of the Cardinals’ coaching staff since Kliff Kingsbury was hired as coach in 2019 and had earned steady praise by players, coaches and members of the front office.

The Cardinals issued a statement after Kugler’s arbitration request with the NFL: ‘As an ongoing legal matter, we are going to refrain from comment other than to say that the team is confident the process will result in a much different set of facts than those presented today and that it had good cause to terminate Mr. Kugler’s employment.’

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