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Virginia state senator calls Jack Del Rio’s January 6 remarks “the nail in the coffin” for public stadium funding

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As more lawsuits against Deshaun Watson become public, Michael Smith wonders how long the NFL will continue to stay silent as the investigation into the quarterback continues.

Maybe Jack Del Rio should have stuck to sports.

The recent remarks from the Commanders defensive coordinator have become a complicating factor in the franchise’s effort to secure public funding for a new stadium in Virginia. State senator Jeremy McPike, appearing on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant & Danny, called Del Rio’s attempt to downplay the January 6 insurrection “the nail in the coffin” for taxpayer money.

McPike, who supported the effort as recently as February, said that (at least for him) Del Rio’s remarks end the issue. McPike also said that he had called off a Thursday meeting with team president Jason Wright.

That said, McPike already had been cooling to the situation. Late last month, he predicted that the eventual contribution from Virginia would be less than $300 million. Now, it apparently could be less than $300.

On one hand, I don’t like the idea of political retaliation, no matter how misguided and factually unsupported Del Rio’s supposed “opinion” regarding January 6 may be. On the other hand, it’s always something with the Commanders. Support already was waning due to some of the various other issues and controversies engulfing the team. It was all the more reason for everyone to tread a little more lightly.

That said, I no longer believe public money should be devoted to football stadiums. With the Broncos selling for $4.65 billion, it’s clear that the NFL’s owners can afford to pay for their own venues. Apart from any subsidies and tax breaks and other sweeteners that generate fewer headlines because they’re harder to explain, these teams don’t need the state or local government to be writing checks toward construction.

So even though I don’t like how it got there, I like the idea that Virginia is moving toward telling Daniel Snyder to pay for his own damn football stadium.