Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio called the events of Jan. 6, 2021 a “dust up” at team minicamp Wednesday after he was asked about a recent tweet that downplayed what happened on the day the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election were tabulated.
On Monday, Del Rio tweeted that he wanted to know the “whole story” surrounding the protests against systemic injustice in the summer of 2020 and that he didn’t understand why this week's Congressional hearings examining the events leading up to Jan. 6 were such a big deal.
Commanders DC Jack Del Rio on his recent tweet (https://t.co/odv7zr4BOn) at today's media session
"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."@nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/zH39iSqHM8
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) June 8, 2022
Hours later, Del Rio released a statement of apology on his Twitter account. He described his choice of "dust up" to represent an attack that saw six die and more than 100 police officers injured as "irresponsible and negligent." He stood by his condemnation of violence in protests following a police officer's murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was asked about Del Rio's comments Wednesday as well, and said that "everyone's entitled to their opinion" while refraining from addressing the substance of what Del Rio has said and tweeted.
NFL players react to Jack Del Rio's 'dust up'
Commanders defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said something similar to Rivera when asked Wednesday: “At the end of the day you can have a difference of opinion and still respect one another."
Two former NFL players condemned Del Rio's comments. Former NFL wide receiver Doug Baldwin tweeted that Del Rio was "ignorant," while former Commanders running back and Super Bowl XXVI champion Brian Mitchell called for Rivera to "get his defensive coordinator in check" and called Del Rio a "damn liar" for his rhetoric on a call with 107.7 The Fan.
In his comments, Del Rio equated the damage that was inflicted as part of the riots two summers ago with what happened at the Capitol when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building as current President Joe Biden was being lawfully installed. Five Capitol police officers died in the days and weeks after the riot, four by suicide that have not been designated as line-of-duty deaths, and at least four people in the crowd of Trump supporters died as well, including a woman who was shot to death by U.S. Capitol police.
Per Forbes, 19 people died during 14 days of rioting during the summer of 2020. Damages exceeded $1 billion.
“People’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem,” Del Rio said Wednesday of property damage that happened during the summer riots. “And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down — and we’re going to make that a major deal.
“I just kind of think there’s two standards. And if we apply the same standard and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let’s have a discussion.”