Wait, When Did Georgetown Law Center Take Over The Washington NFL Team?

Very puzzling. The Washington “Commanders” (previously the Redskins) are punishing an assistant coach because he dared to express an opinion on social media that his boss and employers don’t agree with, since it is not sufficiently in line with the George Floyd Freakout, The Great Stupid, and the Democratic Party’s show trial strategy to somehow stave off disaster for Joe and Company in the November mid-terms. In this, the NFL franchise is emulating it’s city’s most prominent law school, Georgetown Law Center, which only recently finished driving away a non-conforming law professor who dared to opine that limiting the pool of potential Supreme Court Justices by race and gender was not the wise way to find the best judge available.

To paraphrase Dana above, “What’s going on here?”

Nothing good, that’s for sure. Just another unethical effort by a business entity to strongarm employees into supporting one particular party and ideology, or at least to intimidate them sufficiently that they stifle their dissenting views. There is literally no possible justification for the Redsk…I mean “Commanders” actions.

Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator of D.C.s football team, tweeted:

“Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is??? #CommonSense. …Let’s have a discussion. Why are we not looking into those things — if we’re going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things? I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal.”

For this, Del Rio was fined by the team $100,000. Why? I assumed that the justification was some kind of contract provision or team policy, but—what was that clever and memorable name a again? Oh, right–the Commanders issued a statement attributed to head coach Ron Rivera:

That’s pretty unequivocal: the organization, the team and its coach are demanding that Del Rio and other employees hold its approved political views, and will punish anyone who dares to question the screamingly obvious hypocrisy and public manipulation engaged in by House Democrats as they fulminate against civic unrest by conservatives while pretending far more destructive rioting by their political bedfellows was benign.

“Who sought to topple our government”…how can people continue to say something so self-evidently stupid without being called out on it? Like the Black Lives Matter riots, like the Rodney King riots, like the Ferguson riots, like the Freddy Gray Baltimore riots, like the the Martin Luther King assassination riots, like virtually ALL riots, the January 6 riot at the Capitol was a mass tantrum with no coherent objective whatsoever other than to communicate anger. These people were morons, no doubt about it, but even morons know that they can’t overthrow the United States with sticks, bear spray, and funny hats. The Commanders’ statement doesn’t pass a giggle test. It also doesn’t pass an honesty test: “Lives were lost…” Yes, a protester was shot by a cop whose actions would have set off another one of those BLM riots if he hadn’t been black and the unarmed woman he killed had been.

To be fair, most Washingtonians reading that statement also think that Capitol police died in the riot, because President Biden keeps saying so.

The aspect of the statement that can’t be laughed off is a DC institution so openly espousing the principles of totalitarianism, and showing such contempt for the rights of free speech, political dissent, and personal liberty.

Before you assume that Del Rio followed the current fashion and grovelled to keep his job, don’t. Here is his apology:

“I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support as an American citizen for peaceful protest in our country.”

That’s excellent. He only apologizes for the single aspect of his tweets that was legitimately objectionable: the Capitol riot was no “dust-up.” However, the coach refused to back down. I sure hop he refuses to pay that fine.

I just contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE’s new name communicating its expanded mission beyond educational suppression of speech). I urged them to take on the Commanders.

This kind of compelled conformity is poison, and the line in the metaphorical sand must be drawn now.


Pointer: More Bill

12 thoughts on “Wait, When Did Georgetown Law Center Take Over The Washington NFL Team?

  1. Relative to the damage created by the “protesters” in January 2016 it was simply a dust up or tantrum.

  2. I doubt there’s an assistant coaches’ union. I do wonder whether Dan Snyder will simply send 100K out of the team’s coffers to some charity and say it was Del Rio’s money. 100K? How much do coordinators make? This entire thing just smacks of the team covering its ass with its company town fan base.

    On an unrelated tangential note, what is it with the new and improved team names? “Commanders?” Doesn’t that reek of white supremacy? Heteronormativity? Oppressive meritocracy? Inequality? Disparate impact and outcomes? Toxic masculinity? At a minimum, shouldn’t it be “Commanderx?”

    And the same with “Guardians?” Who presumes to “guard” other people other than cisgendered Republicans? Who has the right to “guard” anyone from anything else? Keep your hands off my body. It’s a dog whistle. You might as well call them “The Police.”

    • It’s always struck me as weird how rabid D.C. government employees are about the Redskins. All these career GS whatevers have never struck me as NFL fan material, but boy, they sure are. You’d think they’d be more astute than that.

    • When I first heard of the move to drop the Redskins name, I thought the new name ought to pay homage to the old one:

      The “Washington Foreskins” was my choice.

  3. I’m assuming the contract has language along the lines of “…conduct or public statements that potentially damage the Washington Commanders’ brand… shall be subject to financial penalties…”. Can this really be used to punish political speech such as Del Rio’s tweet?

  4. It will be an interesting question as to whether there could be any legal action. The DC Human Rights Act is one of those statutes that explicitly bans adverse action against an employee based on his political affiliation, which usually means being affiliated with a political party and its beliefs. There is at least an argument that the comments by Del Rio are being targeted because they are consistent with an identifiable political affiliation with the Republican Party.
    But it doesn’t stop there, because the Redsk-, uh, Commanders/Chieftans/Guardians/Centurions (I’m having trouble with this name) aren’t really a DC organization, but rather keep their offices in Virginia. And that state’s Fair Employment Practices statute does not protect political affiliation.
    Not to mention what the language of Del Rio’s contract says with respect to the venue for disputes.
    Lots of fun issues here for an employment attorney.

    • I think the whole thing is a ruse. Del Rio issued the statement, the Redskins freaked out. Their PR firm came up with this scheme to placate the DC area. I doubt it will cost Del Rio a cent. The ‘Skins must really want to keep him.

  5. “Our great community here in the DMV”

    What the heck is the DMV?

    I thought at first he was saying D M Z. And maybe he was.

    Ah, Ron Rivera, how far you’ve fallen since you worked for the Panthers.

  6. those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder

    This is the signaturely significant quote.

    Ron Rivera claimed that rioters in Minneapolis, Portland, and Kenosha were “demanding justice”.

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