Washington Commanders DC Jack Del Rio apologizes for calling Jan. 6 Capitol attack a 'dust-up'
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio apologized Wednesday afternoon following comments he made at a news conference earlier in the day in which he referred to the Jan. 6 Capital attack as a "dust-up."
Del Rio made his apology in a statement posted to his verified Twitter account.
"Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry," Del Rio wrote. "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. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions."
Del Rio faced harsh criticism Wednesday early afternoon after his "dust-up" comment circulated online. His apology came just hours after he was asked at the news conference about a another tweet, one he posted to his account, on Monday, that compared the Jan. 6 Capitol attack to protests linked to the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
"I'm being respectful," Del Rio said during the news conference. "I just asked a simple question. Let's get right down to it: What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into (the protests), if we're going to talk about (the Capitol attack). Why are we not looking into those things?
"It's kind of hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it. I see images on the TV, people's livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we're going to make that a major deal."
On Jan. 6, 2021, a crowd mobbed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election in which Democratic candidate Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump. Five people died during the riot, in which thousands breached the perimeter and stormed the Capitol building. Two officers who responded to the attack later died by suicide.
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 800 people in 48 states with participating in the attack. A House committee was created to investigate the attack and has held a series of hearings.
Del Rio was asked about a tweet he posted Monday that was in response to an article about the Jan. 6 committee.
"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 ???" Del Rio tweeted, referring to the wave of mostly peaceful protests that came in the summer of 2020 following the May 25 death of Floyd. "#CommonSense."
Del Rio said he's not worried his opinions will alienate Commanders players who may feel differently about the comparison.
"Anything that I say or write I would be comfortable saying or writing in front of anybody that I work with," Del Rio said. "Players and coaches. I expressed myself as an American, we have that ability. I love this country and I believe what I believe and I've said what I want to say. Every now and then there's some people that get offended by it. It's a slow news cycle ... that's pretty much it. There's not a whole lot to it."
Commanders coach Ron Rivera was also asked about Del Rio's comments and said he would decline to get into specifics about how he dealt with the matter.
"I'm not going to talk about stuff that I talk with my coaches about, especially stuff that's off the field and not pertaining to football," Rivera said. "It's just, everybody is entitled to their opinion, though."