Jonathan Allen doesn’t intend to let Jack Del Rio’s comments affect his play

Allen doesn't intend to let Del Rio's comments affect his play originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Hours after Commanders coach Ron Rivera expressed a desire to move on from the controversy that Jack Del Rio created last week, Jonathan Allen followed suit on Tuesday, albeit in a much more straightforward way.

“Everybody makes mistakes and he owned up to it,” Allen said of Del Rio, who addressed the team in the morning before practice about his comments regarding the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. “It’s all you can ask for.”

Allen, a Washington captain, told reporters after Tuesday’s minicamp that while some Commanders may have an issue playing for Del Rio after the coordinator compared the events of Jan. 6 to the 2020 Black Lives Matter social justice protests, he personally won’t experience such a conflict.

“I like to separate my political life and my work life,” Allen said. “Yes, we’re a family, yes we’re brothers, but at the end of the day, this is a job and you can’t forget that. You cannot forget that. No matter your political view, we get paid to do a job. You don’t get paid to share political views.

“Now, I’m not saying we can’t use our platform to express our political views, but at the end of the day I get paid to play football, dominate double teams and sack the quarterback. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

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Other defenders, like Kam Curl, Daron Payne and Jamin Davis, kept their thoughts about Del Rio’s recent remarks mostly to themselves, declaring that the matter was taken care of in-house and that the locker room is still in solid shape.

“No, man,” Payne said Tuesday in his press conference about whether Del Rio’s words or beliefs would impact him in any manner. “I play football.”

“I’m not really worried,” Curl added. “We just really focus on football in this building.”

Allen and the other Commanders who spoke Tuesday seemed to appreciate how Del Rio handled the meeting, and Rivera explained that Del Rio has held a couple of one-on-one chats with guys that went “very, very well.”

Last Friday, Rivera fined Del Rio $100,000 for his initial statements, which occurred two days earlier during the club’s final round of OTAs.

At one point on Tuesday, Allen — who has been with Washington since 2017 — was asked if he ever gets overwhelmed by all of the non-football stories that have popped up during his time with the franchise. His answer to that inquiry was especially fiery. 

“You’re not on the field with us playing football, you’re not playing double teams, you’re not out here busting your ass with me everyday,” Allen said about those outside of the organization. “I could care less what people think on Twitter, because Twitter’s not a real space. It’s a space people hide behind the keyboards and say whatever they want to say.

“I could give a rat’s ass about what people say on Twitter. It’s not a distraction whatsoever. We’re moving forward and we’re getting ready for training camp.”

“Anybody outside this team is so unimportant to me,” he concluded. “It means nothing what you say to me or what the media says to me.”

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