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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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Becky Sullivan has been a producer for NPR since 2011. She is one of the network's go-to breaking news producers and has been on the ground for many major news stories of the past several years. She traveled to Tehran for the funeral of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, to Colombia to cover the Zika virus, to Afghanistan for the anniversary of Sept. 11 and to Pyongyang to report on the regime of Kim Jong-Un. She's also reported from around the U.S., including Hurricane Michael in Florida and the mass shooting in San Bernardino.