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

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.