Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was fined $100,000 by head coach Ron Rivera after Del Rio called the Capitol assault a “dust up” at team minicamp Wednesday.
Rivera released a statement through the team’s official Twitter account. He called the events of Jan. 6, 2021 “an act of domestic terrorism.” Rivera said Del Rio’s comments were “extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV,” a nickname for the area encompassing the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
Del Rio’s fine will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 10, 2022
Del Rio put himself in the spotlight Monday when he downplayed the severity of the Capitol assault that took place Jan. 6, 2021. When asked about those comments Wednesday, Del Rio referred to Jan. 6 as a “dust up.” He later apologized for those comments.
Rivera acknowledged Del Rio’s apology in Friday’s statement. Rivera said Del Rio has a right to voice his opinion, but added, “Words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community.”
NAACP called for Jack Del Rio’s job
Del Rio also compared the Capitol insurrection to the sometimes violent protests of systemic and racial injustice in 2020. Rivera addressed that in Friday’s statement, saying, “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 January 6 who sought to topple our government.”
Those comments resulted in NAACP president Derrick Johnson calling for Del Rio to resign or be terminated. Johnson ended his statement by saying, “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.”
Former and current NFL players reacted to Del Rio’s comments, calling him “ignorant” and a “damn liar.”
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