WASHINGTON — Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio appears to have deleted his Twitter account after a whirlwind of controversy in the past week.
The coach could previously be found sending tweets under the handle "@coachdelrio" - Twitter now says that account does not exist. Head coach Ron Rivera said it was Del Rio's decision to delete the account.
"This is not about the fact that he exercised his right to free speech," Rivera said Tuesday. "This is about what impacted the football team."
Del Rio initially came under fire Wednesday during an OTA for standing by his statement drawing comparisons between racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 and the 2021 Capitol riot. In the initial tweet, Del Rio was reacting to a news article about the Jan. 6 hearings asking why the summer of "riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property" isn't getting the same level of attention by lawmakers. Then, he doubled down while speaking to the press later, calling the insurrection a "dust-up."
Rivera said that Del Rio addressed the comments during a team meeting Tuesday morning and said he apologized.
"He was very open, very forthright, very contrite and apologized," Rivera said. "[He] opened himself up to questions or opportunity for any players to come in and meet with him. He has already met with some of our players and talked to some of them about what was said, and I've been told those meetings went very, very well."
On Friday, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said he had met with Del Rio to express his own disappointment and had decided to fine his defensive coordinator $100,000, to be donated to the United States 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 said. "As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism. A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged."
Rivera ended his comments Tuesday saying he was ready to move on.
"Our intent is to go forward," Rivera said. "I think we need to reconcile not just as a football team, but this community, we have to understand that when we do things like this, it impacts the community as well. And we got to make sure the community understands that we understand and we get it that's important."