Updated 6/13/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET
NAACP President Derrick Johnson has called for Jack Del Rio assistant coach to the NFL’s Washington Commanders, to resign, per Yahoo! News. Del Rio previously apologized after making a comment comparing the Jan 6. insurrection to the protests following the killing of George Floyd, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Johnson said it’s time for Del Rio to resign or be terminated. “The January 6th insurrection – an attempted coup – was far from a ‘dust-up’ - Downplaying the insurrection by comparing it to nationwide protests, which were in response to a public lynching, is twisted,” he said in a statement.
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“People’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem,” Del Rio said. “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.”
Amid backlash for his comments, Del Rio released a statement on Twitter Wednesday afternoon apologizing his word choice. Del Rio said it was “irresponsible and negligent” to call the riot a “dust-up.” But he said he stood by comments “condemning violence in communities across the country.”
An uprising against police brutality is a little different than trying to overthrow an election with a white supremacist riot in the capitol of the country. Johnson said Del Rio can’t coach a majority Black team while turning his back on the Black community.
Per Tampa Bay Times, Del Rio and coach Ron Rivera weren’t worried about how their Black players would feel about these comments. Some players used their voices to speak out against police brutality that summer. Washington defensive back Kendall Fuller told Tampa Bay Times he didn’t have an immediate reaction to Del Rio’s comments but would take it up with him if necessary.
Del Rio, on the other hand, said he was simply exercising his right to express himself. “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.