Del Rio deletes Twitter account after controversy
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio deleted his Twitter account on Saturday, one day after he was fined for comments relating to a tweet he made almost a week ago.
Washington fined Del Rio $100,000 on Friday for controversial comments he made earlier in the week, referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol as a “dustup.”
The team had no statement on Del Rio deleting his account. Del Rio did not immediately respond to a text message from ESPN.
On Friday, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement that Del Rio’s comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to the District of Columbia area.
“As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism,” Rivera said. “A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and, as a result lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged.”
Del Rio is expected to address the team on Tuesday, though multiple sources close to the players have said they don’t think it will be an issue with his players. One person close to defensive end Chase Young said of Del Rio, “That’s his guy.”
Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen told NBC Sports Washington, “I don’t care about his opinion as long as he shows up every day and works hard. That’s what I want from my defensive coordinator.”
Del Rio’s tweets and subsequent explanation did not help a franchise that has stayed in the headlines for much of the past two years for non-football issues. The organization has spent the offseason trying to rebuild its brand, officially changing its name to the Commanders, amid a congressional investigation into team owner Dan Snyder. Congress invited Snyder to testify at a hearing on June 22.
The NFL continues to investigate a sexual misconduct allegation against Snyder; the attorneys general in Virginia and Washington, D.C., are looking into accusations of financial improprieties.
On Wednesday, Del Rio defended a reply he made on Twitter two days earlier. In a reply to Norm Eisen of the Brookings Institution, Del Rio tweeted, “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 ???”
When he met with the media on Wednesday during a previously scheduled session, Del Rio said he felt there were two standards being applied. He said he was just expressing his opinion.
But in response to the last question of his news conference, Del Rio referred to the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol as a “dustup,” creating another controversy. He met with Rivera later that day and again Friday morning, when he was informed of the fine. The money will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
Del Rio apologized in a statement on Wednesday.
“Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” he said. “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.”
On Thursday, NAACP president Derrick Johnson called for Del Rio to “resign or be terminated” because of his comments.