The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is calling upon the Washington Commanders to fire defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio over comments he made regarding the events on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., as well as violence related to riots sparked by the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
Earlier this week, Del Rio defended his own tweet downplaying the protest that turned into a riot on Capitol Hill over the 2020 presidential election, while saying that the event was a “dust-up.” The NFL defensive coordinator also questioned why more people were not “looking into” riots in the summer of 2020 that left businesses burned to the ground and other damage.
Del Rio issued an apology, but NAACP President Derrick Johnson called for him to quit or be fired.
“It’s time for Jack Del Rio to resign or be terminated,” Johnson said in a statement on Thursday.
“His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant,” Johnson added. “The January 6th 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.”
On Monday, in response to a report detailing a guide to the January 6 hearings, Del Rio tweeted, “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 ???”
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 ???#CommonSense
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) June 7, 2022
When asked about that comment, Del Rio re-emphasized his concerns.
“I’m being respectful. I just asked a simple question,” Del Rio said to a reporter on Wednesday. “Let’s get right down to it: What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into [the protests], if we’re going to talk about [the Capitol riot]? Why are we not looking into those things?”
“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,” Del Rio added. “And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, where nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal.”
Commanders DC Jack Del Rio on tweet comparing George Floyd protest to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan 6th
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) June 8, 2022
Later Wednesday evening, Del Rio tweeted out a statement expressing remorse for his comments about January 6.
“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,” Del Rio said. “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.”
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) June 8, 2022
As of press time, there is no indication that Del Rio will resign or that the team is considering firing him.