“It’s time for Jack Del Rio to resign or be fired,” Johnson said in a statement Thursday. “His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant. The January 6 insurrection — an attempted coup — was far from ‘dust’. Every day we learn more and more about our democracy’s closeness to autocracy. Downplaying the insurgency by comparing it to nationwide protests, which were in response to a public lynching, is twisted. You can’t train a majority black team while shooting your back to the black community. It’s time for you to pack your bags and leave the field.
Commanders and the NFL did not respond to requests for comment on Johnson’s statement.
On Monday, Del Rio responded to a tweet from Norm Eisen of the Brookings Institution Research Group, in which Eisen promoted a report ahead of the Jan. 6 committee hearings, should start Thursday evening.
Del Rio tweeted: ‘Would love to get the ‘full story’ as to why the summer of rioting, looting, arson and destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is?? ? #Common sense.”
Asked about his tweet on Wednesday after an offseason workout, Del Rio called the Capitol attack a “a blow of dust” raising the ire of current and former players, fans and even elected officials.
“Really, let’s go. What did I ask? A simple question,” Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday. “Why don’t we look into these things if we’re going to talk about them?” Why don’t we look at these things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say — I can watch it realistically, I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are destroyed, businesses are burned down. No problem. And then we have a dust in the Capitol. Nothing burned, and we’re not going to talk about it – we’re going to make it big business.
The team didn’t address the issue on Wednesday, and COs coach Ron Rivera declined to discuss Del Rio’s tweets with reporters earlier in the day. Rivera said he was “not necessarily concerned” that Del Rio’s tweets would affect the locker room and if there was anything to sort out he said it would be treated as a “private matter”.
Del Rio released a statement on Twitter Wednesday evening and apologized for his comments, stating that his reference to the January 6 attack as dust was “irresponsible and negligent”. He added: “I stand by my comments condemning the violence in communities across the country. I say this while expressing my support as an American citizen for a peaceful protest in our country. »
But at that point, two Virginia state senators — Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) and Jeremy S. McPike (D-Prince William) — said they could no longer support a bill. authorizing a stadium authority and helping lure the team to Virginia. Surovell tweeted that the NFL’s “indifference and intolerance” of Del Rio’s comments reflects his “hypocrisy” and “makes me realize that we won’t be seeing more votes on stadium bills this year.”
A group of DC lawmakers said Thursday they would not support bringing the team to the district at the RFK Stadium site, and Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D -Fairfax) pulled the plug on Commonwealth efforts, saying there would be no vote on a Stadiums Bill this year.
“It obviously wasn’t very helpful, to say the least,” Saslaw told the Post, referencing Del Rio’s comments, “but there’s so much more out there. There was so much stuff there that a lot of people say, ‘Saslaw, that thing has to wait.’ ”
Over the past two years, COs have been embroiled in a host of controversies stemming from allegations of sexual harassment and assault by former male employees, allegations of financial impropriety, an investigation into possible illegal payment of prescription painkillers by his former athletic trainer, an ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into the team’s work culture and how the NFL treats it, and another ongoing investigation into recent sexual harassment allegations against Snyder.
The team also struggled to fill the stands at FedEx Field, ranking among the NFL’s worst spectators last year.
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