Washington Commanders fine defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for his comments about Jan. 6
Two days after Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio doubled down on his comments that described the January 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol as a "dust-up", the team’s head coach strongly condemned the comments of his assistant, and fined him $100,000.
In a statement released by the team, coach Ron Rivera said:
"This morning I met with coach Del Rio to express how disappointed I am in his comments on Wednesday. His comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV. As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism. A group of citizens attempted to overturn the result of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged. Coach Del Rio did apologize for the comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy. He does have the right to voice his opinions as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. 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 January 6 who sought to topple the government.”
Rivera continued that he had decided to fine Del Rio $100,000 and that those funds will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
“I feel strongly 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.”
On Jan. 6, 2021, a crowd stormed 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 the first public hearing was held Thursday night.
'SLIPPING IN PEOPLE'S BLOOD:Takeaways from Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing
Del Rio on Tuesday had tweeted that he believed that those who engaged in rioting in response to George Floyd’s murder should be investigated just as those who attacked the Capitol have been.
Asked about that opinion on Wednesday, he told reporters, “Let’s get right down to it, what did I ask? A simple question: Why are we not looking into those things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say I can realistically look at it, I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down—no problem. And then we have a dustup at the Capitol, nothing burned down and we’re gonna make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards."
Del Rio later issued an apology that read, “I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Del Rio tweeted. “Referencing that situation as a dustup 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. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, payers, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions."