The Washington Commanders have fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 for his dismissive comments about the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol building and for comparing the insurrection to protests against police brutality.
Head coach Ron Rivera announced the fine with a statement on Friday, while public hearings are ongoing with the House of Representatives Jan. 6 investigative committee.
On Wednesday, Del Rio referred to the attack on the Capitol building as a "dust-up" compared to the protests that took place in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd was killed in police custody.
"I can look at images on the TV [of the Floyd protests] — people's livelihoods are being destroyed. Businesses are being burned down. No problem," he said on Wednesday. "And then we have a dust-up 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.”
Later on Wednesday, Del Rio issued an apology for his comment.
"Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry," he said in a statement.
"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."
The NAACP has called for Del Rio to resign or to be fired.
Rivera's statement said Del Rio's fine will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
"As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an act of domestic terrorism," Rivera said. "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.
"I want to make it clear that our organisation 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."