Both a former wife and a recent girlfriend say Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable has a history of violent behaviour toward women, and have asked that he seek help for his anger.
Sandy Cable and Marie Lutz alleged in separate interviews that aired Sunday on ESPN's Outside the Lines that the first-year head coach physically abused them at various times during their relationships.
Cable's attorney, Donald Yee, said in a statement Sunday that ESPN refused to provide details about the story when the network called to ask for comment. Yee also questioned the network's motives after waiting until Friday to contact the coach.
"In our view, ESPN has quite purposefully chosen not to provide a fair and balanced story," Yee said. "To us, this represents ambush journalism and utterly fails to meet the standards and practices of responsible journalists."
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network stands by its story.
Cable acknowledged striking Sandy Cable with an open hand in a statement released to The Associated Press. Cable said the altercation happened more than 20 years ago and was the only time he's ever touched a woman inappropriately.
"During my first marriage, I became aware that my wife Sandy had committed adultery," Cable said in the statement. "I became very angry and slapped her with an open hand. What I did was wrong, and I have regretted and felt sorrow about that moment ever since."
Lutz, the former girlfriend, told ESPN she remembers Cable hitting her "three, four times," and said that she visited his house in January and found another woman there. Lutz said she demanded to meet the woman and Cable grabbed her by the arm and eventually pushed her out the door.
Cable said Lutz had come over uninvited, and that he co-operated with an investigation by the Alameda, Calif., police department that cleared him of any wrongdoing.
"I never battered her in any way," Cable said. "It is most unfortunate that ESPN has given Ms. Lutz this forum to revisit this incident when I did nothing wrong and further chose not to provide me with an appropriate opportunity to respond."
The 44-year-old Cable, a former Raiders offensive line coach, took over as head coach when Lane Kiffin was fired four weeks into the 2008 season.
His on-field struggles as he tries to rebuild the once-proud franchise have been mirrored by off-field problems, including Oakland assistant coach Randy Hanson's accusations in August that Cable broke his jaw during a dispute at a coaches meeting.
Napa County district attorney Gary Lieberstein decided last month not to pursue charges related to the incident.
The NFL had been considering whether to discipline Cable under the league's personal conduct policy, which specifically deals with workplace violence. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the revelations on the Outside the Lines report would also be considered.
"We will carefully review these matters in conjunction with the Raiders and consistent with our personal conduct policy," Aiello said.