Washington Commanders Coordinator Jack Del Rio Fined $100,000 for Capitol Riot 'Dustup' Comments

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Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio

John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty

Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has been fined $100,000 for his comments earlier this week that referred to the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 as a "dustup."

In a statement published on the team's Twitter page Friday, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said Del Rio's comments did "not reflect the organization's views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV."

Rivera also referenced Thursday night's senate hearing on the Capitol attacks, calling the event an "act of domestic terrorism."

"A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election," he said, "and as a result, lives were lost, and the Capitol building was damaged."

Del Rio's fine will be donated on behalf of the team to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, according to the team's release.

The 59-year-old coordinator sparked criticism Monday when he tweeted in response to a comment regarding the Capitol riots senate hearings.

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"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, before adding the hashtag, "#CommonSense."

Del Rio then doubled down on his stance during the team's press conference on Wednesday, comparing the act of civil unrest to the string of protests that erupted 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, according to ESPN. "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."

Del Rio apologized for the comments on Wednesday, acknowledging his decision to refer to the riot as a "dustup" as "irresponsible and negligent."

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"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 wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions," he added.

Rivera responded to Del Rio's apology by recognizing the defensive coordinator's "constitutional right" to "voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States."

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"However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community," Rivera's statement said. "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."

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He continued: "I feel strongly that after our conversation this morning, he will have a greater understanding for the impact of his language and the values that our team stands for."