Washington Commanders Won’t Answer Our Questions Following Outrageous Condemnation of Jack Del Rio

Friday, the Washington Commanders fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for comparing the events of Jan. 6 to the deadly riots in response to the death of George Floyd in 2020. 

In addition to the fine, head coach Ron Rivera released the following statement:

Here are the two key lines:

— “[We] will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on January 6 who sought to topple our government.”

— “Coach Del Rio did apologize for his comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy.”

First, Del Rio did not compare Jan. 6 to any “peaceful protests.” Rather, he specifically compared the Capitol storm to the destruction and murders that took place during BLM’s summer of fun in 2020.

The George Floyd riots that Rivera calls a “demand for justice” included the death of 25 people and over $2 billion of damage across the country.

“Justice” and “peaceful,” you say?

In response to this misleading, clearly written-for-Rivera press release, OutKick contacted the Washington Commanders for a series of questions. We asked the following: 

  • Did Ron Rivera write his own statement? If he did not, who did?
  • Why compare Jan. 6 to “peaceful protests” when Del Rio specified he was referring to the BLM riots that were far more deadly than the storming of the Capitol?
  • Does the team consider looting and murder – both of which occurred during the BLM riots in 2020 – “peaceful?”
  • Does Del Rio have free-speech rights?

We know the answer to the final question is no. But we asked anyway, mostly for giggles.

Despite a follow-up email, the Commanders have not responded to our questions. If they did, each answer would expose the politically-motivated fine it issued to Del Rio.

At most, Del Rio used a poor choice of words by calling Jan. 6 a “dust-up.” However, the rest of his comments were fair and his questions were worth asking.

Del Rio’s comments are not inflammatory when put in the proper context, which no one in sports media will do.

For the record: Del Rio isn’t arguing that ruining livelihoods in the name of George Floyd is worse than storming the Capitol, as some blue-checks suggest.

Instead, he’s only asking how a person or group can screech about Jan. 6 but then excuse, like Rivera just did, the BLM rioters who endangered entire cities.

That seems like a reasonable question to ask.

Unfortunately, sports are like Hollywood. Both industries subscribed to the one true opinion, a way of thinking that Bill Maher describes as a subjective opinion that the mob demands you preach. And most public figures dutifully do as they are told.

Ultimately, the Commanders fined Del Rio $100,000 for having an opinion that half of the country has. The team is fining Del Rio for questioning hypocrisy out loud.

“What did I ask? A simple question,” Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday.

Questions are now allowed, Jack. Obviously. So don’t you dare ask one again so long as you work in the NFL.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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