“‘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 going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards.’”
That was Washington Commanders assistant coach Jack Del Rio defending his recent tweet comparing the protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in 2020 to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
His comments followed a Twitter post Monday night in which he said, “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 ???” Del Rio was responding to a tweet about the Congressional hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that will be aired prime-time on Thursday.
The Commanders play their home games in Washington, D.C.
His post drew more than 2,100 comments and led his name to trend on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. Critics noted that the difference is that most of the protests against police brutality following Floyd’s murder were peaceful and bringing attention to racial inequality, while the violent storming of the Capitol was intended to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Several elected Democrats and and Republicans in leadership have also lamented the events of Jan. 6. President Joe Biden called the attack “unprecedented assault” on democracy. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the event a “dark day for Congress and our country” on the one-year anniversary of the mob storming the Capitol. And around the same time, fellow Republican Ted Cruz referred to Jan. 6, 2021 as “a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol.”
Read more: Mitch McConnell says the U.S. Capitol was ‘stormed by criminals’ on Jan. 6, 2021
The U.S. Department of Justice has called the Jan. 6, 2021 incident an “attack on the Capitol,” and more than 840 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the obstruction of Congress. The attack caused approximately $1.5 million worth of damage, according to a May 2021 estimate from the Architect of the Capitol. But the DOJ puts the approximate losses suffered as a result of the Capitol siege at $2,734,783 as of April 5, 2022.
A list of defendants charged in federal court in Washington D.C. related to crimes committed at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 can be found here.
Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller said he was not aware of Del Rio’s tweet. After a reporter read it to him, Fuller said: “I don’t have a reaction right now. If I have a reaction, a feeling, towards something, I’ll express that with him.”
The comments come ahead of the bipartisan Jan. 6 select committee holding a prime-time hearing on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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