Washington commanders fine defensive coach Jack Del Rio $100,000 for calling Jan. 6 Capitol riot a ‘dusting’ over George Floyd riots

The Washington Commanders NFL team (formerly the Redskins), fined defensive coach Jack Del Rio $100,000 on Friday for comments earlier this week in which he called the Capitol riot January 6, 2021 of “dust” from the national riots of George Floyd in late spring and summer 2020.

Jack Del Rio speaks to reporters on Wednesday, screen shot via WRC-TV/Twitter.

Del Rio first commented on the riots in a tweet Monday night on the Jan. 6 congressional committee, “Would love to get ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of rioting, looting, destruction arson and destruction of personal property is never discussed, but this is???
#Common sense”

Del Rio explained his comment during a commanders press conference on Wednesday:

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Oh, if they are (if players are upset) and want to talk about it, I’d talk about it with anyone, no problem, anytime. But they are not. I’m just expressing myself, and I think all of us as Americans have a right to express ourselves, especially if you’re respectful. I am respectful.

I just asked a simple question. Really, did I, let’s go, what did I ask for? A simple question. Why don’t we look at these things? If we want to talk about it, why don’t we look at these things? Because it’s kinda hard for me to say. I can watch it realistically, I see the images on television: people’s livelihoods are destroyed, businesses are burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust in the Capitol, nothing burned, and we’re not going to talk about it, we’re going to make it big business. I just think it’s sort of two standards and if we’re applying the same standard and we’re going to be reasonable to each other, let’s discuss it. That’s all it was. Let’s talk. We are Americans, let’s talk about it. I’m for, I’m for us, you know, having a great opportunity to have a fulfilling life. Like I said in every possible way when I’m here, it’s about love and respect. I love my guys, I respect my guys, but I also love that I’m American and that means I’m free to express myself and I’m not afraid to do so.

Del Rio tweeted an apology later Wednesday:

“I made comments earlier today referring to the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. To refer to this situation as dust was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say this while expressing my support as an American citizen for a peaceful protest in our country. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. J love, respect and support all of my fellow coaches, players and staff I work with and respect their views and opinions.

Commanders Statement by Head Coach Ron Rivera:

This morning I sat down with Coach Del Rio to express how disappointed I am with his comments on Wednesday. His comments do not reflect the views of the organization and are extremely hurtful to our great community in the DMV,” Rivera said. “As we saw last night in the (Congressional) hearings, what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism. A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and as a result lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged. Coach Del Rio apologized for his comments on Wednesday and understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and the peaceful protests that are a hallmark of our democracy. He has the right to speak his mind as a citizen of the United States and it is most certainly 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 equivalence between those who sought justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the actions of those who, on January 6, sought to overthrow our government.

After considering the situation and circumstances, I have decided to fine Coach Del Rio $100,000, which the team will donate to the United State Capitol Police Memorial Fund. I am convinced that after our conversation this morning, he will better understand the impact of his language and the values ​​that our team stands for.

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