HomeSportsCommanders fine Jack Del Rio $100,000 for Jan 6 'dusting' comments

Commanders fine Jack Del Rio $100,000 for Jan 6 ‘dusting’ comments

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Commanders coach Ron Rivera fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 on Friday for comments in which the coach downplayed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as ‘dust’ and blasted it. compared to the racial protests that followed the 2020 killing of George Floyd.

In a statement released by the team, Rivera said he met with Del Rio Friday morning to discuss his comments two days earlier and Del Rio apologized.

“Coach Del Rio apologized for his comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of this somber day and the peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy,” Rivera’s statement read. “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 would like 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.

Svrluga: Jack Del Rio can choose his words. Commanders can choose their trainers.

The fine will be donated to the US Capitol Police Memorial Fund, which supports the families of officers injured or killed in the line of duty.

Del Rio, who has often voiced his political beliefs and ideologies on social media, responded to a tweet on Monday in which he questioned the “whole story” of why “the summer of riots, looting, burning and destruction of personal property is never discussed,” but the January 6 attack is.

Asked about the tweet by reporters on Wednesday following a team practice, he doubled down, saying, “Why aren’t we looking at these things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say — I can look at it realistically, I see the images on TV, 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.

Speaking to reporters earlier Wednesday, Rivera initially declined to discuss Del Rio’s tweets, but said he was “not necessarily” worried they would affect the locker room. The team did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday or Thursday.

The fallout from his remarks was swift and strong, with current and former players speaking in dismay. An NFL player, who once played for Del Rio and spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told The Washington Post that the comments irritated him but did not surprise him, ” because I’ve heard them for the last two, three years. He’s been consistent. … People have died, and he wants to call it ‘a dust’.”

The player added that he would find it difficult to play for Del Rio again ‘because he doesn’t support me as a human being’ and said the coach would never have made those comments ‘if he didn’t. didn’t feel like he had a group of people who agreed with him.”

Del Rio apologized on Twitter on Wednesday evening, saying his reference to the January 6 attack as “dust” was “irresponsible and negligent”. But his previous comments continued to make waves throughout the week.

Two Virginia senators said Wednesday that, following Del Rio’s comments, they could no longer support legislation to incentivize commanders to build a new stadium in the state. The bill was fully withdrawn a day later, and state Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) cited Del Rio’s remarks as one of the deciding factors. .

NAACP Demands Job of Jack Del Rio After Jan. 6 ‘Dust’ Comment

On Thursday, NAACP President Derrick Johnson released a statement calling on Del Rio to resign or be fired. And Rod Graves, the executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a diversity group that works closely with the NFL on its minority hiring, said Del Rio’s comments “go against the values” of the organization. alliance and the NFL.

“His comments do not reflect the views of the organization and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV,” Rivera said in his statement. ” As we have seen [Thursday] night in the [Jan. 6 committee] 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. …

“I am convinced that after our conversation this morning, he will better understand the impact of his language and the values ​​that our team represents.”

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