The ripple effects of Jack Del Rio’s comments on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots are beginning to be felt across the NFL landscape.
After the Washington Commanders’ defense coordinator dismissed the attack as a “puff of dust” — compared to the protests in Minneapolis after George Floyd was killed by cops — former NFL running back Brian Mitchell, who played 10 seasons for Washington, launched the longtime coach at a radio appearance.
“Listen, I see a lot of things happening with this team right now. And here I am about to f*ck off. And I’m so sick of it,” Mitchell said on 106.7 The Fan.
In particular, Mitchell wasn’t thrilled with head coach Ron Rivera’s refusal to discuss the comments, which took place during a press conference on Wednesday.
“We have a coach that we let sit up here and we’re trying to put him on a pedestal because he’s that disciplinarian, and he’s got a friggin’ defensive coordinator who keeps poking the goddamn bear, okay?” Mitchel said. “I care [Rivera] to get his damn D coordinator under control before someone kicks his ass. That’s what I’m about. It’s important to me that someone stops this man from constantly teasing his little pedigree bear with what he’s doing. That’s what I’m about.
“We have to understand one thing: this football thing is cool. But there are a lot of things that are happening with this football team that aren’t cool,” Mitchell continued. “And if you have Jack Del Rio who’s always like, ‘I can just go out there and say whatever I want to say,’ why? Because the coach never says anything to him? They’ve got all these Washington Commanders issues going on right now, and he’s always trying to make waves about his stupidity. And you’re wondering why this team wasn’t disciplined last year because your damn leader leading your defense isn’t disciplined. I don’t give a shit.”
Del Rio made his original comments after responding to a tweet by Norm Eisen about the Capitol riots. In response, the trainer claimed the “summer of riots” following the killing of George Floyd will “never be discussed.”
Del Rio was asked about the tweet in a Wednesday press, after which he had the testy exchange in question with a reporter.
“What did I ask? A simple question,” said Del Rio. “Why don’t we investigate these things if we’re going to talk about them [Jan. 6], why don’t we investigate these things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say, I can see it realistically, I see the pictures on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Shops are burned down. No problem. And then we have dust in the Capitol, nothing burned down. And we will make a big deal out of it.”
Del Rio later apologized and said, “I made comments earlier today in reference to the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. To call this situation dusty was irresponsible and negligent and I apologize.”
However, he said he stands by his comments “which condemn violence in communities across the country”.
Mitchell, who played for Washington from 1990 to 1999, formed three All-Pro teams as a member of the franchise, first team in 1995 and second team in 1991 and 1994. He currently hosts “BMitch and Finlay” on 106.7 The Fan.