Jack Del Rio apologizes for downplaying January 6 a “dustup at the Capitol”

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During a Wednesday press conference, Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio referred to the January 6 insurrection as a “dustup at the Capitol.” Later in the day, he expressed remorse for downplaying the incident.

“I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Del Rio tweeted. “Referencing that situation as a dustup was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. 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, payers, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions.”

Despite Del Rio’s support for “peaceful protest,” he spoke out against peacefully protesting during the national anthem in 2016, when he coached the Raiders. At the time, Del Rio called standing for the anthem an “organizational expectation.”

It fairly could be said that it’s an organizational expectation to refrain from gaslighting the public regarding the actual events of January 6, and of trying to compare an orchestrated effort to disrupt the certification of a presidential election to organic eruptions of discontent arising from police misconduct directed at minority citizens. Then again, no one from the Commanders has said anything to suggest that they expect Del Rio not to engage in the dangerous practice of normalizing aberrant, seditious behavior.

It also could fairly be said that Del Rio isn’t really sorry, and that he was told in no uncertain terms that he’d walk back his remarks by others within the organization. Especially given the damage his comments have done to the team’s effort to get free public money for a new stadium.

77 responses to “Jack Del Rio apologizes for downplaying January 6 a “dustup at the Capitol”

  1. Snyder will be happy to have this kind of distraction from his own behavior and the stadium debacle. Mickey Mouse franchise from the top down, Rivera and Wright really have their work cut out trying to turn them into a winner.

  2. It’s just not something you comment about on the job. You have to be above the bait, Jack.

  3. Another non-apology apology. Del Rio only took back half of the things that he said. It will be interesting to see how his players take it.

  4. Help me get this straight. A football coach, in exercising his right to free speech, is taking responsibility for “negligence” after his words triggered a politician to take away “free” taxpayer dollars from an NFL Corporation that is being investigated for cultural and financial corruption. Is that right? Almost sounds like NBA GM Daryl Morey apologize after expressing his support for Hong Kong protesters and having China take away a lot of TV money from the NBA.

  5. Well it’s definitely not comparing apples to apples but it’s also not apples to oranges either. Peaceful protests are our rights as citizens. Violent protests are not our rights and are criminal activity. Doesn’t matter if it’s reds or blues doing it, it’s wrong. But to say that it was just a “dust up” is pretty narrow minded. I wish people would look at both sides and do research instead of taking sides and blaming the other. People really shouldn’t put much faith in any politician, seems like most of them just want to line their pockets and extend their careers. It’s interesting why people will lie and lose all morals to compete for a job (president) that equates to pretty much the league minimum as far as salary goes. It’s the power that politicians want and someone who’s power hungry usually shouldn’t be in a leadership position. Just my two cents.

  6. Del Rio was a disaster back in Denver. Thank god the Raiders we’re dumb enough to take him so Wade could take us to the promised land.

    Retread coach with no history of winning as a DC or HC.

  7. Engage brain before making comments you are going to regret. That way there’s no need to apologize.

  8. Snyder probably went bonkos on Del Rio this afternoon lol. That said, the Commanders had a chance yesterday to make a comment and they didn’t. Seems to only have been an issue once public funding got obstructed. Honestly, I find the entire Commanders franchise fascinating, it’s peak dysfunction.

  9. Politics should not be a part of this, or any sport.
    That said, in our overly sensitive society that we have these days, what Mr. DelRio said was probably unwise.
    What is sad in this whole occurrence is that a person cannot express an opinion without being skewed for it.
    I do realize that behavior, and in this case his words, have consequences but it is just his opinion.

  10. I miss the days when to experience a stupid conversation you had to be within earshot.

  11. Something tells me as the years go on JDR can no longer relate to players in the locker room. No wonder coaches are getting younger and younger as time goes on. McVay certainly adds to the trend.

  12. I used to like him when he was a Cowboy. I lost any respect I had for him. Desecrating the Peoples Chamber is not a “dustup”. Now I know Jack Delrio has no respect for democracy. Thanks, Jack.

  13. Is he referencing the day they almost overthrew the world’s most powerful government with cameras and a guy in a buffalo hat?

  14. Memo to you Jack – this was not a peaceful protest. Depending on what cable channel you watch, I suppose you might not have been told about the loss of life and the destruction of the capitol. Or the rope and zip ties. It was easy to miss for sure.

  15. Some people call themselves patriots and constitutionalists but are okay with what happened on January 6th. No matter what party you are affiliated with the events of that day are an embarrassment to the country. The rest of the world look upon us as a third world country.

  16. Politics from either side should not be spoken about by players, coaches or owners. Most people enjoy the escape a game provides from day to day problems and concerns.

  17. How many men of colour are there on the Washington roster? A whole bunch. This might be a time when player leadership steps up to say to the team and the public that there is no place for a backward thinking racist to be in a position of power in the NFL. It’s small steps like these that could get the country free from it’s current path.

  18. Based on history, Jack Del Rio’s definition of a ‘peaceful protest’ must be only using your fists to assault an old guy you think’s crossing the picket line while you’re on strike against the NFL…

  19. How sad that the elements of hate have gained so much control over this country that personal opinion isn’t allowed even in sports.

  20. The Virginia Stadium deal is now off the table. Virginia state Senators openly said this TODAY. Directly due to Del Rio’s comments. This means Snyder would have to fully fund a new stadium.

    So if Del Rio potentially cost Snyder several hundred million dollars, how is he still employed with the team??

  21. Del Rio…here’s a novel idea…stick to football related questions and tell people how our defense sucked last year

  22. Consider who we’re working with here: this doofus put an axe in the locker room. His outstanding punter damn near sliced his leg off with it and was never the same player again.

  23. Maybe he said “dustup” because he didn’t have a ton of insight into the events or groups of people who do things unrelated to his job as a coach.

    Not everyone was glued to their chair looking for answers and a play-by-play during and after Jan 6th. I certainly wasn’t. I’m sure he’s not alone in the fact that he got his debriefing of the events via media coverage at the time and then carried on with his life like the other 330 million Americans.

    The guy is there to coach football, not answer questions about political events that simply have zero to do with his job.

    It’s a weird loaded question. No great way to answer it, and no real reason to ask it.

  24. Is calling something a dust up downplaying? Any time there’s a “dust up” in any place of business the results are horrific.

  25. For the most part i feel Jack has been pretty on point with his comments about the hypocrisy you see from different sides of the media, but him not recognizing the severity of the capital incident comes off a tad biased and abit uninformed. He has every right to share is opinions but he should be more thoughtful and prepared before doing so. Great Coach though, i wish my Raiders never fired him.

  26. It wouldn’t be a “dust up ” if one of his family members where involved or murdered .

  27. A dust up where American citizens were murdered at the hands of the government.

  28. Freedom of Speech is Free but how is any of that going to fix the job you were hired to do?

  29. Yes, politics is a great avenue for athletes to drive down. As if anything they say means a damn thing outside of football.

  30. Who cares as its his opinion. No matter what anyone tries to tell you we all have a right to our opinions and beliefs.

  31. I don’t understand how Jack will now be able to work with people of color.

  32. While I do not agree with Del Rio’s original comments, I certainly support his right to have whatever view on the situation as he wants. What I do question is his judgement in making such statements so publically. It’s not a free speech issue. In many jobs, particularly high profile ones, one simply watches what one says publically. The fact that he can’t grasp this is truly alarming and speaks to a basic lack of judgement.

  33. This is why Jack won’t ever get a head coaching gig again. No clue how to be a leader of men just how to be a leader of himself.

  34. It never seem to amaze me when liers are exposed. Your statement Jack “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.” But when the Blacks players took a peaceful knee during the national anthem, you were 100 % against them & made it crystal clear just how strongly you felt about it. News flash Jack, the players protest was conducted before the anthem at football games played in America. Liers will always expose themselves eventually & you’ve done just that.

  35. Too late, Del Rio, you’ve shown your true colors. People know what you are now. You might as well wear it. There’s plenty of people in this country that agree with you, sadly.

  36. Unfortunately racism comes in all shapes and sizes and hidden agendas. As long as you are paying attention, you can see it.

  37. His apology rings hollow and is merely the result of public and employer pressure. I doubt that his personal feelings on the matter have changed one bit

  38. db105 says:
    June 9, 2022 at 3:11 am
    Organic eruptions? Are you serious?

    Agreed

    This was my organic reaction to his organically bad take.

  39. He was a lousy coach and a terrible liar but maybe something even worse he’s just so gullible he believes his dribble and lies i feel bad for his family he brought shame and is now the butt of so many jokes i know as a player i would not respect this person one bit .

  40. 5 policeman are dead because of jan.6th insurrection hoe can you call that a dust up if the Commanders had any decency they’d pay him and then fire him .

  41. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from ridicule and shame as this goofball disserves everything he’s getting and more .

  42. Players should pass around a petition to him this guy released from his job he is unfit to lead men .

  43. It’s more than a little amusing to see a comment section filled with people expressing their opinion that football players/coaches shouldn’t have opinions. Jack’s dumb opinion and fake apology resulted in this little PR dustup. People expressing themselves is always a good thing. It lets you know who the Jack Del Rio’s of the world are so you can move on from them.

  44. . says:
    June 8, 2022 at 9:05 pm
    Help me get this straight. A football coach, in exercising his right to free speech, is taking responsibility for “negligence” after his words triggered a politician to take away “free” taxpayer dollars from an NFL Corporation that is being investigated for cultural and financial corruption. Is that right? Almost sounds like NBA GM Daryl Morey apologize after expressing his support for Hong Kong protesters and having China take away a lot of TV money from the NBA.

    ———

    Actually I think it’s much simpler than that.

    I think Jack realized he put his foot in his mouth.

  45. Hopefully Jack’s fate is the same as Kaepernick. Lesson learned is that freedom of speech does not make you free from consequences!

  46. Five people died while crazies were trying to take over our country and you call that a dustup? You need to apologize for many things.

  47. Del Rio didn’t commit any crime. We do have freedom of speech, although our supreme court is taking away some of our freedoms, and they’re not finished. But so far, freedom of speech is still legal. Anyone who was involved with the terrorists who tried to overthrow the United States government should never see the light of day, again. I don’t think Del Rio was at the capitol on Jan. 6th, so he’s good to say whatever he wants.

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