The Washington Commanders fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for the comments he posted to Twitter that downplayed the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The team said the money will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
Del Rio referred to the incursion at the Capitol as a “dust-up” compared to protests that took place following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in the summer of 2020.
Del Rio, 59, on Wednesday defended a tweet he wrote earlier in the week that questioned why protests following Floyd’s death were not being discussed in the same manner as the insurrection at the Capitol. Later in the day, he apologized.
“Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” Del Rio posted. “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.”
Washington coach Ron Rivera issued a strongly worded statement Friday that said while he respects the right to free speech, there is no defense of the Jan. 6 actions, which he called “domestic terrorism.”
“His words hurt a lot of people in our community,” Rivera said. “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 January 6th who sought to topple our government.”
Rivera said he discussed the situation with Del Rio on Friday.
“I feel strongly that after our conversation this morning, he will have a greater understanding for the impact of his language and the values that our team stands for,” Rivera said.
Del Rio is entering his third season with the team. He previously was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-11) and Oakland Raiders (2015-17).
–Field Level Media