WASHINGTON - The Washington Commanders announced Friday that defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has been fined by the team for comments he made earlier this week about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.
In a tweet on Monday, the 59-year-old questioned why the 2020 riots following George Floyd's murder were not being investigated with the same fervor as the January 2021 attack at the Capitol.
Del Rio was asked about the tweet on Wednesday during a press conference.
"Let's get right down to it," Del Rio said. "What did I ask? A simple question -- why are we not looking into those things if we're going to talk about it. Why are we not looking into those things? 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, where nothing burned down. And we're going to make that a major deal."
"I just think it's kind of two standards," Del Rio continued. "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. We're Americans. Let's talk it through."
Del Rio later tweeted an apology:
"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 dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. 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."
In response to the comments, Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera released a statement Friday indicating that he had spoken to Del Rio and fined him for the comments.
Rivera's statement reads in full:
"This morning I met with Coach Del Rio to express how disappointed I am in his comments on Wednesday. His comments do not reflect the organization's views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV. 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. Coach Del Rio did apologize for his comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy. 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. 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 January 6 who sought to topple our government. 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 Police Memorial Fund. I feel strongly that after our conversation this morning, he will have a greater understanding for the impact of his language."
Del Rio's comments come as the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is holding hearings to establish the historical record after going through more than 100 subpoenas, 1,000 interviews and 100,000 documents.
The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 resulted in the deaths of five people and left many others injured. Dozens of insurrectionists have been convicted or pleaded guilty to serious crimes.