Jack Del Rio new face of NFL’s toxic problem in Washington
It’s about some things a slow thinker in pro football named Jack Del Rio said the other day. Del Rio, sounding like he played without a helmet when he was in the league, was trying to explain his core beliefs, as they are, about his country following the police killing of George Floyd. And maybe show the world at the same time that he’s a dream employee for Washington commanders, a dumping ground for an organization.
“I can watch pictures on TV, people’s livelihoods are destroyed, businesses are burnt down, no problem. And then we have a dust in the Capitol, nothing burned, and we’re going to make it a major deal.
Del Rio posted about half an apology on Twitter after that, or just half an apology, you decide:
“I made comments earlier today referring to the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. I stand by my comments condemning the violence in communities across the country. I say this while expressing my support as an American citizen for a peaceful protest in our country. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. I love, respect and support all of my fellow coaches, players and staff. I work with and respect their views and opinions.
It was also false and dishonest, even for sports, so often the home office for false and dishonest excuses once a sports personality gets whipped, often for looking like an asshole, in the square public. The only statement he came back to was that of January 6, 2021, a shameful and violent assault on the Capitol and on the transfer of power in a democracy, being a “dust”.
He didn’t mean that either. What he said originally is what he meant. That’s why the team is now fining him $100,000, which isn’t enough and doesn’t change his beliefs or who he is. The money, by the way, goes to the US Capitol Police Memorial Fund. Commanders should double that. Or triple it. At least, just because of the damage Del Rio caused by opening his big mouth.
We hear all the time about the toxic work environment with the Washington Commanders, formerly known as the Washington Football Team, a team so called because its featherweight owner, Daniel Snyder, refused for as long as he needed it. made to remove the racist nickname from the team. Of course, Del Rio works for him. Because you know who the current toxic environment is with the commanders?
Del Rio is.
Fate and not head coach Ron Rivera brought Del Rio to Snyder, the ugliest owner in professional sports now that Donald Sterling is bankrupt. Usually guys like Sterling and guys like Snyder go on and on, get richer, get new stadiums, watch the money roll in (in Snyder’s case, that includes the money he’s been accused of withholding to other owners) forever. They go on and on even when the United States Congress investigates their business practices, especially regarding the women who worked for Snyder, women who say the operation was run by bums.
This was before Snyder named his wife, Tanya, co-CEO, and why do you think?
Take a good look at what Del Rio was really saying about social justice in this country, and how he acted like the assault on Capitol Hill was some kind of speed bump on the road to President Biden’s election being certified on the 6th January before some mean, stupid thugs, encouraged by the previous guy in the White House, basically tried to tear down the guardrails on how we govern, in one of the shameful moments in our country’s history.
So this week a proud boy in National Football League training – and after all the rhetoric and money commissioner Roger Goodell has thrown at social justice since George Floyd, what is he going to do about Del Rio? – call it a “dust”.
Now compare that to what Colin Kaepernick, who is now trying to find his way, perhaps, back to professional football with the Raiders, has done.
He took a knee.
Despite all the bogus old-boy rhetoric about it, he didn’t lead an insurrection, just a protest movement. He didn’t dishonor the flag, he didn’t dishonor our soldiers. He didn’t break the windows, he didn’t attack the transfer of power, he didn’t assault the police (the worst thing he ever did, and not for long, was wear those socks of pork, at the beginning for him). He didn’t storm government offices and go after the Vice President of the United States, looking to do God knows what.
He took a knee to make his own statement about racial injustice in America. Before long he was out of the game. Is Jack Del Rio about to be out of the game for what he said the other day, his rather ridiculous attempt at an apology, like trying to present himself as someone one trying to get us all together and have a conversation about race, notwithstanding? We’ll see that, now that the NAACP is after him.
Already people worry about the dreaded VS words with Del Rio. Cancel culture. This concern mostly comes from people who haven’t given a tear over the years of what could have become Kaepernick’s heyday when Kaepernick was essentially blackballed from professional football, despite being someone who, at his best, had one of the best and most versatile. performances in NFL playoff history against the Packers (263 passing yards, 181 rushing yards, ultimately accounting for four touchdowns, January 2013).
Then he took a knee, years before someone like Del Rio came along to offer a raised middle finger to anyone who thought January 6 could have been anything more than dust, and made the same gesture towards how the country reacted after the knee finally left George Floyd.
But there’s a bigger issue here beyond the stench now attached to Del Rio:
When is the National Football League going to do something real and meaningful about what the commanders/football team have become under Snyder’s watch. At least Del Rio had to stay there and take it this week. When should Snyder do the same? When is there some accountability about a franchise that has been this kind of embarrassment, off the field and so often on, for so long?
For now, however, the face of Snyder’s team is Jack (Dust Up) Del Rio. It’s just perfect and totally appropriate.
“I believe what I believe and I will say what I mean,” Del Rio said.
Somebody explain something to this guy: what he thinks is the problem. The final problem, and a beauty, at the clown show that employs him. For the moment.
Once again we need the great quote from the late great George Young about all those golfers who took blood money from the Saudis:
“When they say it’s not about the money, it’s always about the money.”
The other day Graeme McDowell said what the Saudi government did to Jamal Khashoggi was “reprehensible”.
Then McDowell added: “But we are proud to help the Saudis if they want to use golf to get where they want to be…”
There are no buts, asshole.
You’re helping cover up a murderous regime.
No ifs and Where but about it.
Of course, the Saudis hired former George W. Bush weapons of mass destruction flack, Ari Fleischer, to host that first press conference for them in London.
Fleischer would run into a burning building if he thought someone had dropped money inside.
Maybe Phil Mickelson, who was paid the most blood money, thinks it won’t stick with him.
It will be.
The fact that he won the PGA at 50 seems to have happened 50 years ago.
Buddy Stanton wonders what Rangers fans know about living with James Dolan that could give Knicks fans hope.
Quin Snyder should already be on the Knicks’ radar.
Who established the Mets’ recent schedule, the rest of the National League East?
Dude, if you haven’t read Jordan Harper’s fiction, starting with “She Rode Shotgun,” you should.
Rangers’ roar over the past month shows you just how much this city yearns for another title.
Tom Biersdorfer’s last day at the Daily News was Friday.
The good news is that he’s staying with the company, at a time when the company needs all the good publishers it can get.
But that’s bad news for us, because Tom is one of the best and smartest and most caring office guys I’ve ever worked with in all my years at this newspaper.
Newsday is as lucky to have him as we are unlucky to lose him.
The other night, before going to see the incredible Hugh Jackman and the equally incredible Sutton Foster in “The Music Man” (one of the great Broadway nights I’ve ever had), I remembered how glad I am that Gallagher’s is still right there on W. 52nd.
When we finished dinner, Dean Poll, who now owns the joint, took us upstairs to the ballroom where I feel like I’ve been to a hundred boxing press conferences at the time.
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They moved the bar from its original location.
But, really, the room felt the same to me, full of magic and memories, the walls lined with cartoons by Bill Gallo and black-and-white photographs by Ron Galella.
And the best part, at least for me?
As we walked back down, round the corner from the theater, there was a picture of young Pete Hamill.
Again: One more memory from Gallagher.
The place, which has only existed since 1927, is still full of them.
It is an accompaniment with steaks.