The Washington Commanders culture is still unraveling and looking diametrically opposed to the inclusive rebranding the NFL has been positioning.
Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio caught the ire of the Twitterverse when he called the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol a “dustup” in remarks he made to reporters after Wednesday’s practice. Del Rio was responding to a questions about a tweet he posted two days earlier.
Commanders DC Jack Del Rio on tweet comparing George Floyd protest to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan 6th
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) June 8, 2022
Tell Us How You Really Feel
“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??? #CommonSense,” Monday’s Del Rio tweet read.
“Why are we not looking into those things — if we’re going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things?” Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday. “I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dustup 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, and if we apply the same standard and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let’s have a discussion. That’s all it was. Let’s have a discussion.”
Jack Del Rio today: “I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America.”
Also, Jack Del Rio: pic.twitter.com/hZKNRJLe07
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) June 8, 2022
No Bad Energy Please
Del Rio got his wish, and now the conversation has shed light on the narrative within one of the most culturally toxic NFL teams ever.
From the old offensive team name that took 87 years to change to the multiple allegations against him, including allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace levied by former Cheerleaders, the last thing the team needs now is another controversial hot take.
Plus Del Rio is inconsistent.
Is We For Or Is We Against Protesting (Birdman Voice)
In August 2016, Del Rio stated his thoughts when Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem first went public and it was very Bruce Allen-meets-Jon Gruden.
“In America, as individuals, we all have freedoms, and that’s one of the things that makes our country great,” Del Rio said in August 2016, via the San Jose Mercury News.
“For us, I think it’s more about recognizing that you’re part of an organization. You’re representing our organization, and our organization believes that you should pay respect to the flag. Save those individual decisions to express yourself for an individual forum.”
Listen, I honestly don’t care if you’re a Republican/Democrat/Independent etc… what I do care about is an attack on our Capitol an attempt to overturn an election where people died, a clear threat to our democracy… was called a “dust up”.
But hey… “sorry”. #JackDelRio
— Shelley (@Shellsyeah81) June 8, 2022
After all, the team is still living in the shadows of their disgraced former general manager Bruce Allen engaging in the scandalous email exchange with disgraced former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
The views expressed in the email exchange denoted an old culture of good old boys with bad old views. Now the Washington Commanders, newly baptized with a politically correct name and new GM, Martin Mayhew, who is Black, had a glimpse of what feels like the views of the old guard.
Now Del Rio has issued an “apology”.
“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 dustup was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” Del Rio said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“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.”
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) June 8, 2022
Stop The Rebrand Steal
The narrative of the peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many more was tainted by those looking to hijack a moment to create confusion.
The Jan. 6 “Stop The Steal” was an attempted coup where people died, law enforcement was injured, and many participants are now in prison.
Del Rio’s decision to delve into polarizing politics was not only ill-timed but potentially dangerous for the rebuild the Washington Commanders hoped to establish.