Sunderland manager David Moyes says he “profoundly regrets” threatening to slap a female reporter for asking challenging questions, but doesn’t believe it shouldn’t cost him his job.
In a press conference on Monday, the Scot apologized for his words. “It's not the person I am,” he said, as quoted by the BBC. “I accept it was was a mistake. I apologized to the BBC reporter and hopefully we can all move on. Sometimes you don't always answer things the way you want to.”
With Sunderland bottom of the Premier League table, and in danger of relegation, Sparks asked Moyes whether the presence of club owner Ellis Short was putting extra pressure on him. “Not at all,” Moyes said. But when the cameras were turned off he continued the conversation with Sparks.
“You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself,” he said. “You still might get a slap even though you're a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”
Moyes, the former Everton and Manchester United manager, says he has contacted Sparks to apologize. “In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comment to a BBC reporter which I profoundly regret. I was disappointed with myself for it,” he added.
“I subsequently phoned the reporter and apologized, which she accepted. It’s not my character, it’s not my type, as most people know.
“Once again, I apologized for it. I think people who know me would say what I’m about. In the heat of the moment, I used the wrong words.” The BBC said it had confirmed that Moyes had spoken to Sparks and that she had accepted his apology.
Sunderland are eight points from safety in the Premier League, with nine games of the season to play. On Tuesday Moyes takes his team to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester.
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