Washington Commanders head coach fines defensive coordinator $100,000 over Jan. 6 comments

Rivera distanced the team from Del Rio's post, saying "[h]is comments do not reflect the organization’s views"

Updated: June 10, 2022 - 5:53pm

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Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera announced on Friday that he had fined Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio a sum of $100,000 for comments he made on Twitter questioning the disparity in government attention between the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the nationwide riots that followed the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Del Rio on Monday tweeted a reply to a Brookings Institution article on the hearings asking why the "summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed."

In a Friday statement, Rivera distanced the team from Del Rio's post, saying "[h]is comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV." Del Rio joined the Commanders in 2020.

The head coach went on to reference the Jan. 6 commission hearings which aired Thursday evening and described the Capitol Riot as an "act of domestic terrorism."

"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 Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government," Rivera continued. "After reflecting on the situation and circumstances, I have decided to fine coach Del Rio $100,000, which the team will donate to the United States Capitol Memorial Fund."

Del Rio did not explicitly mention George Floyd, nor did he endorse the actions of those who breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in his post.

While the death of George Floyd did spawn many peaceful protests, the Summer following his death was also marked by widespread riots, which saw large-scale vandalism, arson, and acts of violence.

Del Rio apologized to the team for his comments, but on Wednesday explained his position publicly. "What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into those things?" he said, according to Fox News. "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 dust-up at the Capitol. Nothing burned down," he continued. "And we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards. And if we apply the same standard, and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let's have a discussion. That's all it was. Let's have a discussion."

The Washington Commanders were formerly known as the Washington Redskins but dropped that moniker in 2020 over concerns it was pejorative to American Indians. They played as the Washington Football Team for two years before adopting the Commanders brand in 2022.

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