Ron Rivera: Jack Del Rio’s comments became a distraction

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Commanders head coach Ron Rivera held a press conference on Tuesday morning before the team opened its three-day mandatory minicamp and the $100,000 fine he issued to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio last week was the first topic of conversation.

Rivera opened the press conference by discussing his conversations with Del Rio about the coordinator’s tweet calling the January 6 attack on the Capitol a “dust-up” and comparing it to the reaction to George Floyd’s murder in 2020.

Rivera said that he spoke to Del Rio last week and again on Tuesday morning. He declined to address the content of those conversations, but said that the issue wasn’t Del Rio’s ability to speak freely but the fallout from the comments on the team.

“This is about the impact on the team and the distraction it’s become,” Rivera said, via Ben Standig of TheAthletic.com.

Del Rio subsequently deleted his Twitter account and Rivera said that was Del Rio’s decision rather than a team demand.

Rivera said that Del Rio also addressed the team on Tuesday morning and had side conversations with individual players before moving on to other matters.

54 responses to “Ron Rivera: Jack Del Rio’s comments became a distraction

  1. Jack Del Rio isn’t good enough at his job to make everyone else’s job more difficult. When you alienate people you work with and force people have to answer for your actions then you better be pretty valuable. He is not on that tier. They should just fire him and move on.

  2. regardless of your political views, it’s hard to disagree with coach Rivera here.

  3. My guess is some or most of that fine was conditionally waived.

    Is the team required to report it if they do?

  4. The same people complaining about “free speech” were also quick to point out that Colin Kaepernick was a “distraction.”

  5. Freedom of speech is no longer a thing. Seems like we are going back in time where you can be punished for having a differing opinion. Right or wrong everyone’s entitled to their opinions or beliefs

  6. For a team that people say doesn’t matter, they get a lot of attention. Just play football.

  7. That’s grey that Del Rio had these “side conversations” to clear the air with some of his players.

    Now he needs to explain to the rest of us why treason is acceptable where he comes from? George Washington wouldn’t have it slide. I am not either.

  8. why are we still going over this.
    .
    were all like 12 year old children looking for a reason to attack someone so what… we can pretend to be better than them?
    .

  9. One could argue the fine itself was a further distraction, since it opened up the heated debate about whether it was appropriate to fine Del Rio at all or not, with even many on the left arguing that it wasn’t. Fighting fire with fire is seldom prudent.

  10. The team actally paid the fine to quiet everything down, and called the entire incident ” a little dust up”.

  11. Everything Rivera does is a distraction. Worst coach in the league. The guy seems to be auditioning for a political career after football more than focusing on his team.

  12. If any team knows a distraction when they see one, it’s this one.

  13. not that it matter, but I personally lost respect for Ron Rivera for how he handled the Jack Del Rio situation.

  14. Del Rio shouldn’t have been fined. He should’ve been fired. Washington’s black players and coaches will be giving him side eye for the rest of his tenure.

    But as an Eagles fan, I’m happy they kept him!

  15. Players see this all the time. If you’re a superstar and cause a distraction, you get a pass. If you’re a bubble guy, they make an example out of you…
    A retread like JDR is not a superstar coach.

  16. Lost a ton of respect for Rivera over this. If someone expressing their opinion over something outside of the team is such a big distraction, then you are not a very good coach or manager of men. $100,000 fine for expressing your opinion?? Get real!! If the only thing your team can focus on are the comments of someone, then I’m afraid your future is doomed.

  17. The fallout? Ron Rivera, tell us all how you continue to work for someone that has caused nothing but a “distraction” the entire time you’ve been the coach in Washington.

  18. Ron Rivera is a hypocrite, he fines JDR for expressing his political opinion, then goes before the media to bash JDR’s opinion, only to spout his own political opinion.

    The WFT is an absolute mess and a disgrace.

  19. Jack Del Rio is a lover, on the field and off. He should have been fired for his poor coaching after last season. He is in no position to be a distraction and liability off the field as well. Certainly not worth it. Just get rid of him.

  20. I don’t think Ron Rivera is running Jack Del Rio’s life here. Del Rio has kids and works with younger people who have a diverse set of viewpoints. I’m going to guess more than a few of those people told him he was an idiot for entering the fray on these issues on social media. And he’s going to need buy in from his guys to become the emerging defensive unit that it can be. So this really has nothing to do with Rivera violating Del Rio’s speech rights or slighting him. All of this is on Rivera’s watch and as a leader he needs to knock down roadblocks and distractions. And honestly, on the one hand we tell NBA players to “shut up and dribble” but somehow we’re supposed to care about what some retread coach has to say on his social media account.

  21. pftancelledme says:
    June 14, 2022 at 10:00 am
    not that it matter, but I personally lost respect for Ron Rivera for how he handled the Jack Del Rio situation.
    —————————————-
    You’re right, it doesn’t.

  22. Sorry Ron, but you became the distraction when you went public. A simple response would have been “we discussed the matter internally and it has been resolved to the organizations satisfaction”. Instead you made the matter a distraction and showed your ambition for future social matters, were it appears your interest really lies.

  23. My respect for and feelings towards Ron Rivera changed 180 degrees last week. I considered abandoning my beloved team, but, loyal to its many great players over the years, and to the colors – the lame new team name notwithstanding – I’ll continue to follow them closely, and relish in the occasional victories. I will pay no attention to the head coach, I will listen to or read nothing that he has to say. He will not distract me from my affection for the Washington Commanders.

  24. Used to think Ron Rivera was one of the few good people at the team of my childhood

  25. Dan Snyder: “after fining Jack, we can now officially declare our organization distraction-free!” smh

  26. The real distraction is trying to sleep at nite knowing Carson Wentz is your starting QB. Talk about starting the season with one arm tied behind your back.

  27. Ask yourselves this question. When did Kaepernick ever get fined by his team or the NFL for causing one of the biggest distractions this league has ever seen? Del Rio never should have received a fine to begin with.

  28. “Del Rio’s ability to speak freely is exactly the issue”

    He spoke freely and may continue to do so. However to expect to say any vile or disgusting thing you want and have no consequences from your coworkers and or customers are entirely different things from free speech.

  29. If his comments were a distraction why would you bring them up again. When you fined him you should have said the organization considers this a closed matter.

  30. “..Del Rio’s ability to speak freely is exactly the issue..”

    What people can’t seem to grasp is the idea that the First Amendment doesn’t offer any protection against WHAT you say.
    These are the same people by the way, who are always yapping about taking ‘personal responsibility’.
    They’re a confused bunch.

  31. People are so confused about free speech. The only protection you are provided for “free speech” is that you will not be restricted by the federal government and it’s laws. There was never and will never be any protection from judgment, social consequences, restrictions from private businesses and employers, etc…

    Free speech can and should have consequences, just not from U.S. law.

  32. If having an unpopular opinion gets you fined a $100K because it’s a distraction to the team, then Snyder needs to fine himself $100 million for egregious distractions to the team concerning stealing from the NFL. Why is Ron Rivera talking about it all? This is the GM’s stage, not the coach. The Washington Stupid Name Football Team needs a spine.

  33. This is NOT a freedom of speech issue.

    Del Rio, like the rest of us, has freedom of speech, but NOT freedom from reactions to his words.

    And when it comes to businesses, they always have rules about posting on social media and what can be said to fellow employees.

  34. This is just part of the ongoing trend of not only disagreeing with alternate viewpoints but punishing those who stray from the orthodoxy. If it can be pushed even further to destroy them totally, so much the better because next time others will know better than to speak.

  35. The NFL needs new leadership. That should go without saying. You can’t take a side on political issues and not expect to have backlash. None of this stuff happened under Paul Tagliabue.

  36. Let me guess – Colin Kaepernick and his antics would never be a distraction to the team who signs him, right?

  37. Irish Hoodlum says:
    June 14, 2022 at 9:22 am
    Freedom of speech is no longer a thing. Seems like we are going back in time where you can be punished for having a differing opinion. Right or wrong everyone’s entitled to their opinions or beliefs
    =================
    Personally I have no problem with what Del Rio expressed (and would go so far as to say the fine was an over reach). That said, how exactly was his opinion prevented from being expressed? I fail to see how his freedom of speech was prevented. I think people are vastly confused on the protection freedom of speech provides.

  38. If it’s “freedom of speech with consequences,” keep the punishment and outrage consistent for everyone regardless of politics. Otherwise, this country is no different from China. No one should lose their job or pay a fine because of who they voted for.

  39. jameshodges says:
    June 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm
    If it’s “freedom of speech with consequences,” keep the punishment and outrage consistent for everyone regardless of politics. Otherwise, this country is no different from China. No one should lose their job or pay a fine because of who they voted for.
    ====================
    Again, freedom of speech provides for preventing the government in limiting free speech. Private employers are not included under that umbrella. Nor were they ever included. If you want to equate the Del Rio situation with China it would be more accurate to claim the government prosecuted Del Rio for expressing his opinion. Unless I am mistaken that didn’t happen. It’s a bit disingenuous to suggest you can say whatever you want with no impact on your employment status. Think about the vastness of what that could include and you should be able to see how ridiculous that sounds.

  40. karmakalled says:
    June 14, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    Again, freedom of speech provides for preventing the government in limiting free speech. Private employers are not included under that umbrella. Nor were they ever included.

    _______________________________________________

    Political discrimination in the workforce is absurd. It sets a dangerous precedent for all employers. It would be like firing someone on the basis of gender, race or religion. It’s time to add notes to the first amendment to protect real freedom in our free world. Punishments and outrage are inconsistent based on politics. It’s a problem.

  41. “..Freedom of speech is no longer a thing. Seems like we are going back in time where you can be punished for having a differing opinion. Right or wrong everyone’s entitled to their opinions or beliefs..”

    Without freedom of speech it would be a lot harder to see who the idiots are.

  42. As Herm Edwards would say “don’t hit send”.

    JDR lost the Raiders when he was HC because he wouldn’t let them protest. And it’s not what he did, but it’s awfully similar.

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