Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Why Tom Cable Is the Victim

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 6, 2009

First, I feel the need to make it clear that I believe violence is only acceptable in self-defense.

Second, I want to say that if the allegations against Tom Cable are found to be true I would be in full support of him being removed of his duties as an NFL head coach.

With that said, let’s get to what we know so far:

Cable released this statement to the Associated Press:

“During my first marriage, I became aware that my wife Sandy had committed adultery. 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."

Two women came forward in an ESPN report and accused Cable of abusing them.

One of these women was the ex-wife Cable admits to having struck, though her account differs from his. She alleges Cable punched her and that he hit her on two occasions. After the second incident she sought a temporary order of protection.

The other accusation made in the ESPN report is by an ex-girlfriend, Marie Lutz. Lutz claimed to ESPN that Cable struck her "three, four times." She added that she visited his house in January and found another woman there, at which time she demanded to meet the woman. She then alleges Cable grabbed her by the arm and eventually pushed her out the door.

Concerning this incident Cable was quoted in the USA Today as saying:

"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."

Cable’s current wife, Carol, issued this statement through Cable’s attorney:

"I was present at Tom's house when Marie Lutz came to the house in January of this year. At approximately 5 a.m., we heard someone pounding very loudly on the front door and ringing the doorbell over and over again. When Tom opened the door, Ms. Lutz told him she needed to talk to him, that she needed his help, and begged him to let her into the house. After she entered the house, the two of them had a verbal exchange. At no time did Tom commit any act of violence toward her. After not getting what she wanted from Tom, Ms. Lutz screamed at Tom 'I am going to ruin your [expletive deleted] life and I am going to ruin your [expletive deleted] career if it is the last thing I ever do.'" 

The police were called after this incident and cleared Cable of any wrongdoing.

Cable’s second ex-wife, Glenda, stated in her 2008 divorce papers that Cable was physically and verbally abusive toward her.

She declined to participate in the ESPN report but issued a statement through her attorney, saying:

"I have known Tom Cable for more than 20 years, including 17 years of marriage. Throughout the time I have known him, Tom has never been violent to me or our children. I chose not to speak to the media before now to protect my privacy and that of my children. However, I am very troubled by what is being claimed by others and I felt compelled to speak out about my own lengthy experience with Tom."

Donald Yee, Cable’s attorney, released a statement Sunday saying ESPN refused to provide details about the story when the network asked for comment. In this statement, Yee also questioned the network's motives.

"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."

The other accusation of assault against Cable came from co-worker Randy Hanson. Hanson alleged Cable struck him and broke his jaw. The Napa County DA released this statement saying they did not see a reasonable amount of evidence to press charges.

Regarding the history of violent actions by Cable, those are the facts, as we know them.

The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” keeps popping into my head, but apparently not everyone’s.

The vultures are out and they are circling around Cable. Fairly or unfairly, it is obvious that it is true.

Enter NOW (National Organization for Women). The founder of that organization is apparently appalled that Cable is allowed to work despite the allegations that have been made against him.

Here is the statement released on the NOW Web site (I have added my thoughts in brackets and italics and what I think the author was thinking in parenthesis and italics):

Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

November 5, 2009

Tom Cable's history [does one incident make a history?] of violence against women raises a question: why is he still the head coach of an NFL team? Mr. Cable admits having battered his first wife, and he stands accused of battering two [one of the two released a statement saying he was never violent toward her] other intimate partners as well.

As a survivor of domestic violence (at which point I gained the psychic ability to know things with absolute truth like), I know that women do not make such accusations lightly. Indeed, women (in every single case of accused domestic violence ever) have much more to lose than to gain by coming forward to tell their stories. The Oakland Raiders, properly, say they are undergoing a "serious evaluation" (we spend out time releasing statements, not conducting investigations) of these recent allegations. At the very least (at the most castrated and then put to death) Mr. Cable should be suspended during this process. But I don't understand why he doesn't simply step down, admit he has a problem, and get some help [because not all psychotically out of touch people who like power realize they should step down]. A man who had admitted battering his wife has no business being a role model for all of us who would like to be able to look up to the head coach (and when I say us, I mean others, because coaches that are have accusations of battery are good for my career) of an NFL football team.

O’Neill’s statements are rooted in leaps of judgment and falsehoods.

Her conclusions are based on the fact that, since she was a victim of domestic violence, she knows women do not make these accusations lightly.

Apparently once she was battered she became so in tune with the universe she knew that no women would ever make an accusation like this with out it being true. She is also apparently basing this knowledge on the fact that women in this situation have a lot more to lose than they do to gain.

While I agree that, for far too many women, this is the case, I have a hard time believing this in Lutz’s case. What exactly does Lutz stand to lose by making this accusation? It is completely reasonable to question that these statements may be made in attempts for personal retribution.

Some of her statement is based on the fact that he admitted to domestic violence; however, this was 20 years ago and was public knowledge prior to this report.

I am not trying to excuse this action, but as it stands now there is as much to pointing to the fact that Cable learned from this and paid the price as there is to say it is part of a pattern.

There are lots of other people in public positions that have been guilty of spousal battery; why O’Neill felt the need to single out Cable and wait until now to share her outrage seems to be nothing but a power ploy.

O’Neill’s statements are shamelessly done in a pathetic attempt to promote herself and her cause by using this vehicle as a means to free publicity. I am all for raising awareness to help limit the amount of spousal abuse in this world, but not when it is done in a low-rent, sleaze-ball way.

There are plenty of public figures with a substantiated history of domestic violence that NOW can speak out against, but instead they choose to stretch out their power based on allegations aired on a story-hungry sports network.

NOW has not conducted their own interview or looked into these allegations themselves (well, other than psychic understanding of these kinds of situations O’Neill possesses).

It is harmful and slanderous to jump to conclusions before all of the facts are acquired. At this point there is, at the very least, as much of a reason to take Cable for his word as there is his accusers'.

I do not know what happened any more than anyone else, but I do know there is enough to go on to let an investigation take place before punishing Cable.

Cable very well may have a problem with violence and should be subject to any investigation that the laws of the land and the rules of his profession dictate. At this point that is all he should be subjected to. Save your comments and judgments until informed conclusion arise; otherwise, it is just another form of abuse.


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