Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio apologized Wednesday afternoon following comments he made at a press conference earlier in the day in which he called the January 6 capital attack of “dust”.
Del Rio apologized in A declaration posted on his verified Twitter account.
“Referring to this situation as dust was irresponsible and negligent and I’m sorry,” Del Rio wrote. “I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say this while expressing my support as an American citizen for a peaceful protest in our country. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. J love, respect and support all of my fellow coaches, players and staff I work with and respect their views and opinions.”
Del Rio faced heavy criticism early Wednesday afternoon after his “dust” comment circulated online. His apology came just hours after he was asked at the press conference about another tweet, one he posted to his account on Monday, which compared the Jan. 6 Capitol attack to protests related to the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. .
“I’m respectful,” Del Rio said at the press conference. “I just asked a simple question. Let’s cut to the chase: what did I ask? A simple question. Why aren’t we looking into (the protests), if we’re going to talk about (the attack of the Capitol.) Why don’t we look into these things?
“It’s kind of hard for me to say, I can look at it realistically. I see pictures on TV, people’s livelihoods are destroyed, businesses are burnt down, no problem. And then we have a dust in the Capitol, nothing burned, and we’re going to make it a major deal.”
On January 6, 2021, a mob stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election in which Democratic candidate Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump. Five people died during the riot, during which thousands broke through the perimeter and stormed the Capitol building. Two officers who responded to the attack later died by suicide.
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 800 people in 48 states with participating in the attack. A House committee was created to investigate the attack and held a series of hearings.
Del Rio was asked about a tweet he posted on Monday in response to a January 6 committee article.
“I’d love to get the ‘full story’ as to why the summer of rioting, looting, arson and destruction of personal property is never discussed, but it’s???” Del Rio tweeted, referring to the wave of mostly peaceful protests that occurred in the summer of 2020 following Floyd’s May 25 death. “#Common sense.”
Del Rio said he’s not worried his opinions will alienate Commanders players who might have a different take on the comparison.
“Anything I say or write, I would be comfortable saying or writing in front of anyone I work with,” Del Rio said. “Players and coaches. I spoke as an American, we have that ability. I love this country and I believe what I believe and I said what I wanted to say. has people offended by it. It’s a slow news cycle…that’s about it. There’s not much to it.”
Commanders coach Ron Rivera was also asked about Del Rio’s comments and said he would decline to elaborate on how he handled the matter.
“I’m not going to talk about things that I talk about with my coaches, especially things that are off the pitch and have nothing to do with football,” Rivera said. “It’s just that everyone is entitled to their opinion, though.”