The Washington Commanders said on Friday they fined defensive co-ordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 after he minimized last year’s assault on the U.S. Capitol a “dust-up” compared to the 2020 racial justice protests that followed George Floyd’s death.
Del Rio, who has since apologized, made the comments this week when asked by reporters if he planned to address with the team a social media post in which he questioned why protests after the death of Floyd at the hands of police were not being discussed in the same way as the U.S. Capitol attack.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement that her met Del Rio earlier on Friday to express how disappointed he was in the comments and felt the defensive co-ordinator will have a greater understanding of the impact of his words.
“He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so,” said Rivera. “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 Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government.”
Hundreds of then-President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election win.
Four people died the day of the attack, one fatally shot by police and the others of natural causes. More than 100 police officers were injured, and one died the next day. Four officers later died by suicide.
Del Rio is entering his 24th season coaching in the NFL and his third as Washington’s defensive co-ordinator after being named to the position in January 2020.