The NAACP is demanding the Washington Commanders defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio, either resign or be dismissed from his post for his comments about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In a now-deleted tweet, Del Rio compared the Jan. 6 insurrection to Black Lives Matter protests and questioned why BLM protests are not being investigated.
According to Sports Illustrated, during a press conference held last Wednesday, Del Rio doubled down on his Twitter comments. “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, nothing burned down and we’re gonna make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards.”
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, “It’s time for Jack Del Rio to resign or be terminated. His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant.”
Johnson added, “The Jan. 6 insurrection—an attempted coup—was far from a ‘dust-up.’ Each day we learn more and more on just how close our democracy came to autocracy. Downplaying the insurrection by comparing it to nationwide protests, which were in response to a public lynching, is twisted. You can’t coach a majority Black team while turning your back on the Black community. It’s time for you to pack up and step off the field.”
Due to the insurrection, five people lost their lives, 140 officers sustained injuries and the U.S. Capitol suffered $1.5 million in damages as reported by ABC News. Del Rio has since released a statement apologizing for his comments, according to TMZ.
“Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” he expressed. “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, prayers, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions.”
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera has since issued Del Rio a $100,000 fine. The money will be reportedly donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.