Commanders’ Ron Rivera on DC Jack Del Rio’s $100K fine: ‘This is about him impacting the football team’

As the Washington Commanders opened mandatory minicamp Tuesday, coach Ron Rivera addressed the $100,000 fine handed down to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio last week.

“This is not [about] the fact that he exercised his right to free speech. This is about him impacting the football team,” Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “I believe in the first amendment very strongly. … But the thing we all have to understand with these rights, these freedoms come tremendous responsibility, and we have to understand that as well. This is about the impact that was made on our football team, the distraction it has become. It’s a very serious question and topic, but at the end of the day, it did impact us, and that’s why I did what I did.”

Rivera fined Del Rio after the DC’s Twitter comments comparing the 2020 protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and subsequently describing Jan. 6, 2021, as a “dust-up.” Over the weekend, Del Rio deleted his Twitter account.

Rivera said Tuesday that the defensive coordinator spoke to the team ahead of minicamp.

“He was very open, very forthright, very contrite and apologized and opened himself up to questions or opportunities for any players to come in and meet with him. He’s already met with some of our players and talked to some of them about what was said. I’ve been told those meetings went very, very well,” Rivera said. “But our intent is to move forward. I’m about reconciliation. I think not just this football team but this community.”

Del Rio has been Washington’s defensive coordinator since Rivera took over the team in 2020.

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