The Washington Commanders on Friday fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for comments he made earlier this week calling the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol a “dustup,” head coach Ron Rivera announced.
Rivera said that while Del Rio has the constitutional right to voice his opinion, “words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community.”
On Monday, Del Rio tweeted in response to a Twitter post about upcoming hearings on the Jan. 6 attack, comparing it to Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
“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??? #CommonSense,” he tweeted.
He took to Twitter again Wednesday after receiving backlash for appearing to downplay the severity of the Capitol attack, which involved a number of deaths.
“I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dustup was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” Del Rio said in a statement. “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.”
Rivera said he met with Del Rio on Friday morning to express his disappointment with his comments.
“His comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the” District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, Rivera said.
“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 results of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged.
“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 our government.”
Rivera said the team plans to donate the fine to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
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