Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is in hot water over his tweets late Tuesday that showed support for President Trump.
Responding to a fan who criticized him for being a Trump supporter, Del Rio tweeted: “I’m 100% for America, if you’re not you can kiss my A$$.”
Earlier in the evening, Del Rio had quote tweeted several pro-Trump accounts. The 57-year-old shared a fake picture attributed to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with the caption “Wow ?!! Proof….. C’mon AOC.” The original poster, Wendy Moran, declared Ocasio-Cortez “hates America” and included an image of a fake tweet in which the Democrat allegedly suggested keeping businesses closed until after the November elections.
Del Rio also tweeted “Fact not fiction” in response to a video that said Trump was not a racist.
The series of tweets prompted criticism from fans and notable figures. Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl tweeted, “Coach Del Rio, are you saying someone is not American if they don’t support Trump?!” MLB Network’s Robert Flores tweeted “‘Attention to details!!’ Isn’t that what coaches say???” A fan told the coordinator to “stop confusing patriotism with racism.”
Del Rio’s tweet that suggested people kiss his behind garnered 2,000 replies and has more than 6,000 retweets and 29,000 likes.
The tweets also came a week after Redskins coach Ron Rivera declared that “Black Lives Matter” and detailed social justice initiatives Washington introduced, such as town halls to discuss race issues and a Black Engagement Network to help black employees. Redskins running back Adrian Peterson has also committed to kneeling during the national anthem.
Del Rio, who has served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the Redskins in January after spending last year with ESPN as a football analyst. He has shown a willingness to engage with fans on social media.
When he last held a press conference in May, Del Rio was asked about his social media habits.
“I have fun,” Del Rio said. “I’m not on all the time. I’ll come on, I’ll get off, I’ll pop in sometimes and lay something out there. I don’t really have an approach. I’m just enjoying and I like to follow and read people and gather information and just participate. My kids try and keep me in check. ‘Don’t get (in) trouble on there, dad,’ so they don’t want me to go too far.
“But, I just try and have fun with it and when it gets uncomfortable or when it goes places I don’t want to go, I just get off.”
Del Rio has not responded to the criticism. As of Wednesday, he has tweeted only one time — quote-tweeting a video of Mark McGwire with the caption “Former teammates @USC_Athletics” — since his tweets.