n assistant coach for the NFL’s Washington Commanders doubled down on a comparison between the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and the protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
Jack Del Rio, a former linebacker who now runs Washington’s defense, downplayed the deadly insurrection and questioned why the summer of 2020 protests were not receiving the same scrutiny. His comments Wednesday after an offseason practice came a day before a House committee investigating the pro-Donald Trump disruption of Congress 17 months ago begins public hearings on the matter.
“People’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem,” Del Rio said. “And 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.”
His comments followed a Twitter post Monday night in which he said, “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 ???” He was responding to a tweet about the Congressional hearings into Jan. 6.
Del Rio and coach Ron Rivera say they aren’t concerned if the opinion will upset Black players who make up the majority of their team, some of whom spoke out about police brutality and racism in the wake of Floyd’s killing two years ago.
“If they are (concerned) and they want to talk about it, I’d talk about it with anybody,” Del Rio said. “No problem. At any time. But they’re not. I’m just expressing myself and I think we all as Americans have a right to express ourselves, especially if you’re being respectful. I’m being respectful.”
Del Rio, 59, has posted conservative opinions to his verified Twitter account numerous times since joining Rivera’s staff in Washington in 2020.
“Anything that I ever say or write, I’d be comfortable saying or writing in front of everybody that I work with, players and coaches,” Del Rio said. “I express myself as an American. We have that ability. I love this country and I believe what I believe and I’ve said what I want to say. Every now and then, there’s some people that get offended by it.”