Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has dismissed the fatal 6 January insurrection as a “dust-up at the Capitol” a day before live hearings into the pro-Trump violence are set to begin.
The NFL coach made the controversial comment at a team minicamp when he was asked to clarify a tweet that downplayed the riot in which Trump supporters tried to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
Mr Del Rio has stated on social media that he wanted to know the “whole story” about the racial injustice protests in the summer of 2020, and equated them with the 2021 Capitol riot.
“Let’s get right down to it,” said Mr Del Rio, according to NBC4. “What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into those things, if we’re gonna talk about (6 January), why are we not looking into those things?
“Because it’s kind of hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it, I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a dustup at the Capitol, nothing burned down. And we’re gonna make that a major deal.”
The riot led to the deaths of five people, including Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was shot by a law enforcement officer while entering the Speaker’s Lobby inside the Capitol, and later died of her injuries.
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will start holding hearings this week after working through 100 subpoenas, 1,000 interviews, and 100,000 documents.
“I just think it’s kind of two standards,” Mr Del Rio added.
“And if we apply the same standard, and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let’s have a discussion. That’s all it was. Let’s have a discussion. We’re Americans. Let’s talk it through.”
At least 861 people have been arrested and charged with crimes in connection with the insurrection.
One-term president Donald Trump was impeached for a historic second time before being acquitted by the Senate when it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed by 10 votes.
Later, Del Rio took to Twitter to apologise for his “irresponsible and negligent” comments.
And he added that he supported “peaceful protest in our country.”
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