Quick Bit: The Commanders’ defensive coordinator doesn’t think his comparisons of George Floyd to the Jan. 6 riots will cause any issues.
The Washington Commanders might have a big problem on their hands heading into 2022, and that problem has no interest in acknowledging itself.
Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who has been with the team since 2020, has kicked up a bit of a hornet’s nest with a tweet on June 6 in which he compares the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake George Floyd’s murder to the January 6 insurrection attempt at the nation’s capital.
Del Rio, asked about these comments at Wednesday’s scheduled media availability, was asked whether his takes would cause issues with his players. Del Rio, however, doesn’t think his players will have concerns.
“IF they are (concerned),” Del Rio said. “And they wanna talk about it, I’ll talk about it with anybody, no problem, at any time. But uh, but they’re not. I’m just expressing myself, and I think we all as Americans have the right to express ourselves. Especially if you’re being respectful. I’m being respectful. I just asked a simple question.”
Del Rio continued down the “asking questions” road.
“Let’s get right down to it, what did I ask? A simple question.
Why are not looking into [the protests] if we’re gonna talk about [the insurrection attempt]. Why are not looking into those things. Because it’s kinda hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it. I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a ‘dust-up’ at the capital, nothing burned down. And we’re gonna make that a major deal. I just think it’s kinda two standards.”
The Commanders made several public showings in the fallout of Black Lives Matter, including donning helmet decals in support of the movement, canceling a practice, and instituting social justice initiatives prior to the 2020 season.
Ron Rivera declined to comment on Del Rio’s comments.
“I’m not gonna talk about the stuff that I talk with my coaches about, especially stuff that’s off the field and not pertaining to football,” Rivera said, per The Athletic. “It’s just everyone’s entitled to their opinion now.”
One person who did not decline comment was former Commanders running back Brian Mitchell, who laid into Rivera and Del Rio for their comments (or lack thereof).
“I don’t give a damn about Ron Rivera getting mad at somebody having a collision until he gets off his ass and addresses this damn idiot that he hired as a defensive coordinator,” Mitchell said on 106.7 The Fan. “This man has been pushing the needle and testing it over and over… and the leader, the coach has done absolutely nothing.”
These comments will, of course, loom over Commanders training camp, particularly given Del Rio’s lengthy answers to questions about his philosophies. Whether or not Rivera can continue to downplay the significance of these comments, however, may well determine how and if players end up responding.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More