“Really dude, WTF?” Del Rio wrote in the retweet of the post about Wallace. The original tweet appears to have been deleted, and it is unclear whether Del Rio was directing his comments at Wallace or the person who criticized Wallace. An FBI investigation revealed that the noose was part of a pull handle for the garage’s door and had been in place since last fall, long before Wallace’s team was assigned the garage.
After several Twitter users were critical of Del Rio, he responded by writing, “I’m 100% for America, if you’re not you can kiss my A$$,” as a retweet of a post that identified Del Rio as a supporter of President Trump.
A Redskins spokesman said the team would not comment on Del Rio’s tweets. No Redskins players appeared to react to them on social media.
Wallace, whose story has gained national attention in part because of his encouraging NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from its events, has received widespread support from fellow drivers and other professional athletes in recent weeks.
Del Rio, who coached the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine years and the Oakland Raiders for two and is seen as one of the NFL’s top defensive minds, has generally gotten along well with his players, and his political views don’t seem to have caused a significant problem in the past.
When Trump criticized Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for standing during the Mexican national anthem and sitting for the American one before a 2017 Mexico City game, Del Rio defended Lynch, saying he told his players “everybody should pay respect to the flag … but it is America and everybody can make their choice.”
After Trump’s tweet, Del Rio’s wife, Linda, tweeted that she regretted voting for Trump in the 2016 election.
In the 2½ years since he stopped coaching the Raiders, Del Rio, who has more than 85,000 followers, has tweeted regularly. Most of the messages he posts are about football, often wry observations about old highlight videos or pictures. Last month, he posted a defense of his predecessor, Greg Manusky, who was long a target of Redskins fans. He also quotes Jon Gordon, the author of many leadership books.
“I’m not on all the time,” Jack Del Rio said last month in a video conference when asked about his tweeting. “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 their dad in trouble, 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.”