Tucker Carlson Calls NFL Coach a 'Fascist Moron' Over Jan. 6 Fine

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera a "fascist moron" after the latter issued a $100,000 fine to the team's defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio over comments he made about January 6, 2021.

Carlson took aim at Rivera during his prime time show on Friday and accused the coach of lying and spreading propaganda in a statement the team issued about Del Rio's fine.

Del Rio had referred to the storming of the Capitol in 2021 as a "dust-up" during a press conference on Wednesday and later apologized for that phrasing but defended other comments about "violence in communities across the country."

Tucker Carlson Speaks in Washington, D.C.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Carlson has described an NFL coach as a "fascist moron". Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Carlson showed part of Del Rio's comments on Friday and said: "Oh, he thought he had a right to respectfully express himself in the land of the free."

"But it turns out, no. Just hours ago the coach of the Washington Commanders, a fascist moron called Ron Rivera, announced that Jack Del Rio has no right to talk and he's being fined $100,000 for doing it," the Fox News host said.

Carlson then quoted part of Rivera's statement, which said: "I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the actions of those on January 6 who sought to topple our government."

"If you can think of a line more filled with cant dishonesty and propaganda than that, send us text and tell us what it is because we can't. That's just flat-out Maoist," Carlson said.

Controversy about Del Rio's comments began with a tweet he sent on Monday where he referred to upcoming hearings of the House Select Committee investigating January 6 and made reference to the protests and riots that took place following the death of George Floyd.

"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???" Del Rio tweeted.

He defended that tweet when he was asked about it at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I'm just expressing myself and I think we all as Americans have a right to express ourselves, especially if you're being respectful. I'm being respectful....Why are we not looking into those things?" he said.

"Because it's kind of hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it, 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," Del Rio said.

"I just think it's kind of two standards, and if we apply the same standard and we're going to be reasonable with each other, let's have a discussion....I love my guys, I respect my guys, but I also love the fact that I'm an American and that means I'm free to express myself. I'm not afraid to do that," he said.

Del Rio later apologized for his phrasing in a statement issued on Twitter.

"I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021," he said. "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. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions," Del Rio added.

Rivera issued a statement on Friday announcing Del Rio's $100,000 fine and calling his comments "extremely hurtful." He also referred to the Select Committee's first hearing, which took place on Thursday.

"As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an act of domestic terrorism," Rivera said. "A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged."

Rivera said that Del Rio has "the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community."

The fine is to be donated to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Newsweek has asked the Washington Commanders for comment.