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Del Rio fined $100k for Capitol comments

Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was fined by the team for comments referring to the US Capitol invasion as a “dust up”

Jeffrey May
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was fined by the team for comments referring to the US Capitol invasion as a “dust up”
Geoff BurkeUSA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders have fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 after comments he made earlier in the week referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol as a “dustup” and compared those events to “riots, looting, burning” during the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.

Washington coach Ron Rivera released a statement saying that he had met with Del Rio on Friday to express his disappointment in the coordinator’s comments.

The money will be donated by the Commanders to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, said Rivera. With more than 100 police officers injured and five officers left dead, the Capitol invasion can not be dismissed as a mere “dust up”.

On Monday, Del Rio tweeted “Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is??? #CommonSense.”

Two days later, he defended that tweet by saying that there were two standards being applied and he was just expressing his own personal opinion, before adding fuel to the flames by referring to the Capitol riot as a “dust up”.

Later in the day, he apologized saying, “Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support as an American citizen for peaceful protest in our country.”

Coach Rivera said that Del Rio has every right to voice his opinion, “However, words have consequences, and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government.”

NAACP president Derrick Johnson has called for Del Rio to “resign or be terminated” because of his comments.

“His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant,” said Johnson. “The January 6th insurrection, an attempted coup, was far from a ‘dust-up’. Each day we learn more and more on just how close our democracy came to autocracy. Downplaying the insurrection by comparing it to nationwide protests, which were in response to a public lynching, is twisted. You can’t coach a majority Black team while turning your back on the Black community. It’s time for you to pack up and step off the field.”

His sentiments do not seem to tally with the African-American players coached by Del Rio, who have expressed solidarity, with defensive end Chase Young calling Del Rio “his guy,” and defensive tackle Jon Allen saying, “I don’t care about his opinion as long as he shows up every day and works hard. That’s what I want from my defensive coordinator.”

Del Rio said Wednesday that he would be happy to meet with any player who has an issue with what he said.


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