NAACP president says NFL coach should be fired for comparing BLM protests to Jan. 6 insurrection

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“It is time for Jack Del Rio to resign or be terminated,” said Derrick Johnson. “His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant.”

After Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders NFL team, called the January 6 insurrection a “dust-up” and compared the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the 2020 protests following the police murder of George Floyd, cries for him to resign or be fired are getting louder.

In a statement released to media outlets, USA Today reports, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson joined the chorus on Thursday.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said of Washington Commanders coach Jack Del Rio: “You can’t coach a majority Black team while turning your back on the Black community. It’s time for you to pack up and step off the field.” (Photo: Lisa Lake/Getty Images)
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said of Washington Commanders coach Jack Del Rio: “You can’t coach a majority Black team while turning your back on the Black community. It’s time for you to pack up and step off the field.” (Photo: Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

“It is time for Jack Del Rio to resign or be terminated,” said Johnson. “His comments could not have been more offensive and ignorant. The January 6th insurrection — an attempted coup — was far from a ‘dust-up.’ Each day we learn more and more on just how close our democracy came to autocracy. Downplaying the insurrection by comparing it to nationwide protests, which were in response to a public lynching, is twisted. You can’t coach a majority Black team while turning your back on the Black community. It’s time for you to pack up and step off the field.”

On Monday, De Rio responded to a Twitter post about a Jan. 6 report detailing federal and state charges the former President Trump and his allies could face. Del Rio wrote on Twitter that he’d “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 issued an apology for his remarks on Twitter Wednesday, saying that he was “irresponsible and negligent” while also noting that he stands by his “comments condemning violence in communities across the country.”

During a press conference Wednesday, Del Rio — asked about his Monday tweet — doubled down on his remarks and raised eyebrows even further.

“I just asked a simple question,” he told reporters. “Let’s get right down to it: What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into [the protests], if we’re going to talk about [the Capitol attack]. Why are we not looking into those things?”

“It’s kind of hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it,” Del Rio continued. “I see images on the TV, 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.”

Commanders coach Ron Rivera has declined sharing his thoughts about Del Rio’s comments, saying, “I’m not going to talk about stuff that I talk with my coaches about, especially stuff that’s off the field and not pertaining to football.”

“It’s just, everybody is entitled to their opinion, though,” Rivera said.

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