Senate leader says he’s pulling bill to bring Commanders to Virginia

RICHMOND — The state legislator who’s led the charge to lure the Washington Commanders to Virginia gave up the fight Thursday, saying the latest controversy surrounding the team has proved too much to overcome.

Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said Thursday he is giving up on the stadium bill because of mounting controversies surrounding the team, including comments by Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio Wednesday, in which he called the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol building a “dust-up” compared to the racial justice protests that followed George Floyd’s death in 2020.

“This obviously was not very helpful to put it mildly but there’s so many other things out there,” Saslaw said, referring to investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and financial mismanagement. “There were just so many things out there that a lot of people are saying, ‘Saslaw, this thing needs to wait.’ ”

A spokesperson for the Commanders did not immediately provide comment Thursday.

Sam Fortier in Washington contributed to this report.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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