Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio called the Jan. 6 riot a “dust-up” on Wednesday, then apologized on the eve of the first public hearing into the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The NFL coach was speaking to reporters when he was asked about his recent remarks on Twitter about the House select committee investigating last year's assault on Congress in Washington, D.C.
In a tweet on Monday, Del Rio compared Jan. 6 to the racial injustice protests that stemmed from the murder of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes in May 2020.
In that tweet, Del Rio described the subsequent protests as a “summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property.”
Del Rio addressed the topic again on Wednesday morning.
“I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Businesses are burned down. No problem," he said. "And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol — nothing burned down. And we’re going to talk about, we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think, it’s kind of two standards.”
Hours later on Wednesday, Del Rio issued an apology about his "dust-up" remark.
“I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” Del Rio tweeted.
“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, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions.”
Del Rio could not be reached Thursday for additional comment. The Washington Commanders were also not reached.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol will begin its first public hearings on Thursday, expected to feature hours of newly released testimony and information.
The committee says the hearings will feature new evidence about how a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters came to lay siege to the Capitol in an effort to block members of Congress from formalizing President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Del Rio has been with the Washington Commanders since 2020. He was also a former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and then-Oakland Raiders.