Rivera fines Del Rio $100,000 for comments on Jan. 6 insurrection


Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera condemned defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's recent comments about the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection and also fined the assistant $100,000 for making them, the team announced Friday.

"After reflecting on the situation and circumstances, I have decided to fine Coach Del Rio $100,000, which the team will donate to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund," Rivera said in a statement. 

Per the statement, Rivera met with Del Rio on Friday and "feels strongly" that Del Rio "will have a greater understanding for the impact of his language and the values that our team stands for" following their conversation.

After OTAs on Wednesday, Del Rio referred to the events of Jan. 6 as a "dust-up" and drew a comparison between that day and the social justice protests sparked by the 2020 death of George Floyd that became a part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a press conference, Del Rio told reporters he thinks there are "two standards" when discussing those two topics and that the protests haven't been scrutinized enough.

A bipartisan House select congressional committee held its first public hearings on the events of Jan. 6 on Thursday evening. It included testimony from a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was injured by the mob of thousands as it pushed toward the Capitol that day.

"Let's have a discussion," Del Rio said. "Why are we not looking into those things — if we're going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things? 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 dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we're going to make that a major deal."

Rivera, meanwhile, labeled what happened at the Capitol as "an act of domestic terrorism."

"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 faced backlash once his quotes were shared and written about on Wednesday, and that evening, he issued an apology for being "irresponsible and negligent." 

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"He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States," Rivera said of Del Rio. "However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. 

Commanders captain Jonathan Allen told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay that he didn't care about Del Rio's stance and added "as long as he shows up every day and he works hard, that's what I want." Del Rio is entering his third season as coordinator.

Here is the full statement from Rivera:

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