Washington Commanders Coordinator Jack Del Rio Apologizes for Calling Capital Riot a 'Dustup'

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Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio talks to defensive tackle Jonathan Allen during an NFL football practice at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio talks to defensive tackle Jonathan Allen during an NFL football practice at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo

Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio apologized after referring to the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 as a "dustup."

The controversy began earlier this week when Del Rio responded to a tweet about the upcoming Capitol riots hearings.

"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???" he wrote on Monday, before adding the hashtag, "#CommonSense."

According to ESPN, Del Rio reiterated his stance during a team press conference on Wednesday. He also compared the attacks on the Capitol to the protests following the death of George Floyd.

"Why are we not looking into those things — if we're going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things?" Del Rio told reporters. "I can look at images on the TV, people's livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dustup at the Capitol, nothing burned down, 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," he continued. "That's all it was. Let's have a discussion."

Representatives for the Commanders and the NFL did not immediately respond to PEOPLE"s request for comment.

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During his comments on Wednesday, Del Rio said he did not believe his tweets would impact his relationship with players.

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"Anything that I ever say or write, I'd be comfortable saying or writing in front of everybody that I work with — players and coaches," Del Rio said, according to ESPN. "I express myself as an American — we have that ability. I love this country, and I believe what I believe, and I've said what I want to say. Every now and then, there's some people that get offended by it."

"I'm going to be the man I am," he continued. "I operate here as a coach with nothing but love and respect for everybody that I work with. ... If they are [upset] and they want to talk about it, I'd talk about it with anybody, no problem, at any time."

On Wednesday afternoon, Del Rio shared a statement on social media apologizing for his word choice.

RELATED: Capitol Riot Investigation Finds Evidence of 'a Lot More than Incitement' from Trump, U.S. Reps Claim

"I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021," Del Rio said on Twitter. "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," he continued. "I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions."

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Washington head coach Ron Rivera declined to say if he had spoken to Del Rio about the tweets, according to WCAU.

"I'm not going to talk about stuff that I talk to my coaches about, especially stuff that's off the field and not pertaining to football," Rivera said. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion, though.

"If it ever becomes an issue or a situation, we'll have that discussion," he added. "Right now, it's something that I will deal with when it comes up."