Jack Del Rio was always known for being a hard-nosed player during his 11-year NFL career. The same was true when he was a head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. In recent months the Washington Football Team’s defensive coordinator has taken that hard-nosed approach to Twitter and shared his thoughts on a variety of topics. In a recent interview, when asked about NFL players opting out, Del Rio offered a somewhat surprising answer. But when you take a closer look at his past comments, it’s really not all that surprising.
Jack Del Rio’s tweets on politics
Since he left the Raiders in 2017, Jack Del Rio has been active on Twitter talking with his more than 100,000 followers. While he naturally likes to talk about the profession that he’s been a part of for 35 years, he’s never shied away from tackling more sensitive subjects, especially those with a political slant.
In June, Del Rio retweeted a post that attacked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using a fake tweet that the New York representative reportedly was trying to keep the economy closed in an effort to hurt Trump. “Wow ?!! Proof….. c’mon AOC,” he wrote. The backlash was immense.
Around that same time, one follower questioned Del Rio for being a Trump supporter. The coach responded. “I’m 100% for America, if you’re not you can kiss my A$$.”
Coach questions Bubba Wallace
While Jack Del Rio has tackled politics directly, he’s also commented on issues out of the political sphere that have been made political, including an incident in June where a noose-like rope was discovered in the stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, and was later called a “hoax” by the President.
Del Rio initially liked a tweet from conservative commentator Candace Owens, who referred to Wallace as Bubba Smollet, a reference to the actor Jussie Smollet who was accused of lying about a hate crime. The coach then followed it up with a comment to another tweet from someone who echoed Owens’ thoughts and called Wallace “disgraceful.”
“Really dude, WTF?” Del Rio wrote, questioning Wallace. The original tweet has since been deleted.
Jack Del Rio’s thoughts and tweet on opting out
The Athletic recently interviewed Jack Del Rio on various football-related topics. One of the questions posed asked his thoughts on those players opting out for the 2020 NFL season.
“I have personal views that would probably not sit well with my professional occupation right now. I think I’ll just leave it like that,” Del Rio curtly responded.
While Del Rio’s half-answer provided the answer, he tweeted about the same topic around the same time he was commenting on Wallace and Ocasio-Cortez more than a month earlier. In a tweet from Sports Illustrated about a story that questioned the NFL and its prioritization of playing the 2020 NFL season over its employees’ health and safety, Del Rio was clear on where he stood.
“I think most players understand the risk of playing the game of football. The priority is not trying to be perfectly safe …..if so perhaps you should never drive your car.”
In the Athletic article, Del Rio added that he had not had the opportunity to discuss any of his comments with the players, but was open to it in the future. Whether or not that ever happens is uncertain. One thing, however, is quite certain, and that is Jack Del Rio has an opinion, and he’s going to express it no matter what anyone else thinks.