The Washington Redskins — sorry, Football Team — sorry, Commanders — aren't letting a name change be the end of their ridiculous virtue signaling. Last week, the organization fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for expressing a completely benign political opinion about the January 6 Capitol riot.
Del Rio first caught the attention of the woke scolds when he responded to a tweet about the January 6 committee hearings by the Brookings Institute's Norm Eisen. Eisen hasn't been shy about calling January 6 an "insurrection," and insists that former president Donald Trump is going to...
The Washington Redskins — sorry, Football Team — sorry, Commanders — aren’t letting a name change be the end of their ridiculous virtue signaling. Last week, the organization fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for expressing a completely benign political opinion about the January 6 Capitol riot.
Del Rio first caught the attention of the woke scolds when he responded to a tweet about the January 6 committee hearings by the Brookings Institute’s Norm Eisen. Eisen hasn’t been shy about calling January 6 an “insurrection,” and insists that former president Donald Trump is going to be charged with crimes for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. Del Rio asked why Eisen wasn’t talking about “the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property.”
Del Rio immediately faced a backlash, but defended himself to the media.
“I express myself as an American. We have that ability. I love this country and I believe what I believe and I’ve said what I want to say,” he said.
Head coach Ron Rivera initially backed Del Rio, telling the press that his coaches have a right to their opinions. However, in a later press conference, Del Rio drew ire again when he explained that his tweet to Eisen was intended to point out the hypocrisy among political pundits who handwring about political violence at the Capitol but not in major cities by left-wing activists.
“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 Capitol. Nothing burned down, and we’re not going to talk about — we’re going to make that a major deal,” Del Rio elaborated.
The left-wing media seized on his use of the term “dust-up.” The NAACP called for the Commanders to fire Del Rio. Del Rio apologized for referring to the Capitol riot as a “dust-up,” but said he stood by his comments condemning the summer of riots. Rivera then issued a statement calling January 6 an “act of domestic terrorism” and insisted the Commanders “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.” Del Rio was ultimately fined $100,000 for his comments.
Rivera is right in that there is no equivalency between the summer of riots and the January 6 Capitol riot. The riots during the summer of 2020 were deadlier, more widespread and more prolonged than anything that happened at the Capitol. Only one person was killed during the Capitol riot, and it was a protester; the DoJ has yet to prove an insurrection took place that day. Meanwhile, more than two dozen individuals were killed during the Floyd-related protests, which also caused more than $2 billion in property damage and saw a similar takeover of government buildings and property.
Setting aside whether Del Rio’s comments about January 6 were advisable or correct, it is always hilarious to watch the NFL weigh massive punishments against individuals for speech. Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, for example, was forced to resign last season after his decades-old insensitive emails were curiously leaked to the press. Meanwhile, dozens of NFL players who have been convicted of violent crimes continue to wear a uniform and make millions of dollars off of the league. The Commanders’ decision to fine Del Rio is especially absurd considering that the team’s owner, Dan Snyder, was investigated by the NFL and found to have presided over a “toxic” and “unprofessional” workplace. About 50 women have accused Snyder of running a “sexist” organization and half a dozen accused him specifically of sexual harassment and abuse.
Del Rio’s personal political opinion — which his own players said doesn’t bother them! — is “extremely harmful,” but the Commanders can continue to be run by an incompetent buffoon who is too busy allegedly fondling his team’s cheerleaders to win a single playoff game in over fifteen years. The NFL, and certainly the Commanders, remain a joke.