David Moyes: Sunderland manager 'deeply regrets' telling female reporter he'd 'slap her'

    David Moyes has managed English side Sunderland since July.

    Story highlights

    • Moyes under pressure
    • Questioned over his future at Sunderland
    • Incident occurred on March 18
    • Sunderland currently bottom of league

    (CNN)An English Premier League manager says he "deeply regrets" his behavior towards a female journalist after telling her during a post-match interview that she risked being slapped.

    BBC reporter Vicki Sparks asked Sunderland manager David Moyes if he felt his job was under threat with club chairman Ellis Short, who is American, in the stands during his side's goalless draw against Burnley on March 18.
      "It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there so just watch yourself," Moyes said to Sparks off-camera once the interview had finished.
      "You still might get a slap even though you're a woman," added Moyes. "Careful next time." Sparks is heard laughing uncomfortably during the conversation.
      Moyes later apologized to Sparks and she accepted his apology, a BBC spokesperson told CNN.
      However, British lawmaker Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan -- the Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport -- called on the Football Association -- English soccer's governing body -- to take action.
      "This is disgraceful," said MP Allin-Khan, who tweeted a seven-second video of the incident. "David Moyes cannot get away with these sexist threats - the @FA must take action immediately."
      Former England international Gary Lineker, who works as a television presenter for the BBC, also described Moyes' comment as 'inexcusable."
      "Incident highlights a tendency for some managers to treat interviewers with utter disdain," tweeted Lineker. "Pressured job. Well rewarded. Inexcusable."

      'Resolved amicably'

      The 54-year-old Moyes has managed Sunderland since July, but has endured a tough season on the pitch, with the team currently bottom of the Premier League and eight points away from safety with nine league games left to play.
      "David and the reporter spoke to one another subsequently and the matter was resolved amicably," a Sunderland spokeswoman told CNN.
      "It was in the heat of the moment," Moyes told reporters Monday. "I deeply regret the comments I made. That's certainly not the person I am. I've accepted the mistake. I spoke to the BBC reporter, who accepted my apology."
      England internationals Jermain Defoe (center) and Michael Keane (right) in action during Sunderland's Premier League clash with Burnley.

      Testing times for Moyes

      Having spent 11 years in charge of Premier League club Everton, Moyes' managerial career hasn't been easy since leaving the Merseyside club in 2013.
      He succeeded Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager, only to be sacked after 10 months in charge with the English giants seventh in the league table.
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      He then became head coach of Spanish side Real Sociedad where, after winning just 12 of his 42 games in charge, he was dismissed the day before his one-year anniversary with the club.
      Despite coming under pressure with Premier League strugglers Sunderland, Moyes has said he expects to stay in charge of the club even if it is relegated at the end of the season. His side has won just one league game so far this year.
      This is not the first time the Scotsman has lost his cool on a match day. He was given a two-game touchline ban with Sociedad following a dispute over an offside decision.
      Sunderland lost 1-0 to Watford on Saturday, and next faces a trip to Premier League champion Leicester City Tuesday.