After Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio caught heat for some controversial comments, at least a couple of current and former Seattle Seahawks players called out the longtime NFL coach publicly.
When asked during a minicamp press conference to elaborate on his June 6 tweet — in which he wondered why the events of January 6 were getting more attention than protests that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s murder — Del Rio appeared to downplay the incident at the U.S. Capitol, calling it a “dust-up.”
“I see images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down — no problem,” Del Rio said told reporters on June 8. “And then we have a dustup 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.”
In his June 6 tweet, Del Rio wrote: “Would love to understand “the whole story “ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is ??? #CommonSense”
Current & Former Seahawks React to Del Rio
Del Rio’s comments elicited passionate responses across the NFL, including some from a couple of current and former Seahawks stars.
Former Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin Jr. took to Twitter to share his thoughts, calling Del Rio an “ignorant, ignorant man.”
“Protesting against the murder of someone is not the same as attempting a coup because you didn’t get your way in an election,” Baldwin added in a follow-up tweet. “Not saying vandalism is ok but lets not try to pretend these are the same”
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While Baldwin provided some more detailed thoughts on Del Rio’s comments, current Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs simply responded on Twitter with a clown emoji.
One of Seattle’s newest players, former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris, tweeted that he “wasn’t surprised” that Del Rio made the comments that he did. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett simply responded with “wow.”
Del Rio Apologizes for Comments
Shortly after his June 8 press conference where he referred to the storming of the U.S. Capitol as a “dust-up,” Del Rio released an apology.
“I made comments earlier today referencing the attack that took play on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Del Rio said in a statement later that day. “Referencing the situation as a dustup was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support for peaceful protest across the country. I have fully supported all peaceful protests across America.”
This wasn’t the first time that Del Rio had been in hot water for his Twitter account. The Commanders defensive coordinator caught some heat in June 2020 for a series of retweets and replies going after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
Del Rio, 59, previously was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-11) and Oakland Raiders (2015-17). He has been the Commanders’ defensive coordinator since 2020. His 11-year career as a player began in 1985 and included stints with five teams.