Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders has made a grave mistake — according to many Twitter users.
He called the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol a “dust-up.” Gasp.
Let’s go back a few days to June 6, when Del Rio took to Twitter to comment on a story about the upcoming primetime Jan. 6 Committee hearings.
“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 ??? [Common sense],” he wrote in reference to the riots that broke out after the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
According to one estimate, the collective damage sustained during those riots was expected to cost the insurance industry $2 billion.
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
The Washington Commanders is the new name for the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins.
On Wednesday, Del Rio addressed his tweet with reporters.
“Why are we not looking into those things — if we’re going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things?” Del Rio asked.
He went on, “I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem.”
Commanders Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio:
"I can look at images on the TV, people's livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we're going to make that a major deal." pic.twitter.com/99mF3uxUTD
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 8, 2022
And here’s where Del Rio committed his grave error:
“Then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards, and if we apply the same standard and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let’s have a discussion.”
After Floyd’s death, we saw images of Minneapolis in the aftermath of the riots with buildings burned out that looked like they were from a war zone, not an American city.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) May 29, 2020
Or there was the damage in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake:
EARLIER: Burned out cars and businesses are damaged following last night's unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/7pGIFmHfgp
— The Hill (@thehill) August 26, 2020
Ashli Babbitt is the only person who died that day as a direct result of a violent encounter as she was shot while attempting to breach the House chamber.
Two other people died of medical emergencies, and another appeared to have been crushed by the mob of people storming the building.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died a day later of natural causes. Capitol Police Officer Howard S. Liebengood committed suicide four days after the riot.
And Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jeffrey Smith killed himself nine days after the attack. Medical experts said Smith’s death was the result of “post-concussion syndrome,” which The New York Times notes “can lead to cognitive problems, depression and suicidal thoughts.”
But for many on the left — and some conservatives too — when it comes to Jan. 6, there is to be no comparison or any statement seen as downplaying the riot. And Del Rio found that out as many took to Twitter to blast him:
“A Dust Up”
– Jack Del Rio
This Is Really What Some (White) People Think Jan 6 was.
Literally Nothing Surprises Me Anymore.
— JESSE (With No “i”) (@Mr4thAndLong) June 8, 2022
The last thing the controversy-laden Washington Commanders needed was defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s disrespectful game of what-about-ism, where he played down the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.https://t.co/Ip5T7zSJg4
— WTOP (@WTOP) June 9, 2022
So, to @coachdelrio the Jan. 6 insurrection that injured police officers, threatened elected official lives and almost doomed the peaceful transfer of government, was merely “a dust up”? If the players on the @Commanders are as astute as I think, a relationship problem is brewing
— Len Elmore (@LenElmore) June 8, 2022
“Dust-up”: Del Rio should tell that to the cops who were assaulted. Fitting that the disgrace that is the Washington football team doesn’t end with the owner. https://t.co/gq0Pko6awB
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) June 8, 2022
No, Jack Del Rio: Jan. 6 wasn't a 'dust-up.' It was a violent act of treason. | Opinion https://t.co/n3ysFvIMt2
— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) June 9, 2022
Later on Wednesday, Del Rio said in a statement that his comments were “irresponsible and negligent” and that he was sorry. He maintained that he was standing by his 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,” Del Rio added.
Jan. 6 was a shameful, dark, and embarrassing day in American history when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and obstructed an official proceeding in an attempt to throw out the results of an election and disenfranchise the voices of millions of their fellow Americans.
This reflexive response to beat anyone who dares to deviate from the standard line about Jan. 6 into submission will not help win anyone over. All it does is provide more oxygen for conservative pundits to claim it is being used as a partisan cudgel against Republicans.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.