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The Commanders' Jack Del Rio is off Twitter after calling the Jan. 6 riot a 'dust-up'

Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, pictured before a game in January.
Frank Franklin II
/
AP
Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, pictured before a game in January.

First came his public apology. Then came the $100,000 fine. And now, Jack Del Rio's Twitter account has been deleted.

Del Rio's exit from the social media platform caps a rocky week for the Washington Commanders' defensive coordinator that began with a tweet, followed by comments to reporters, in which he compared the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to the 2020 racial justice protests.

"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 gonna make that a major deal?" Del Rio told reporters after a Wednesday practice.

Del Rio's comments were disavowed by head coach Ron Rivera. In a statement released Friday, Rivera said he had fined Del Rio $100,000 and would donate the sum to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

"His comments do not reflect the organization's views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV," Rivera wrote, using a regional acronym for the metropolitan area around Washington, D.C.

Del Rio's comments come at an awkward time for team officials, who have been attempting to build support for a new publicly-funded stadium.

To do so, Commanders officials were already working to overcome the team's considerable baggage – including ongoing NFL and congressional investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety – to persuade lawmakers to provide financial incentives for the team to relocate.

But after Del Rio's comments, a group of D.C. council members closed the door on one proposal to build a new stadium in the District, and lawmakers in the Virginia State Assembly dropped legislation intended to lure the team to northern Virginia.

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Becky Sullivan
Becky Sullivan has reported and produced for NPR since 2011 with a focus on hard news and breaking stories. She has been on the ground to cover natural disasters, disease outbreaks, elections and protests, delivering stories to both broadcast and digital platforms.