A controversial social media post by a Bethel School District wrestling coach has sparked major outrage in the wake of the death of George Floyd by cops.
The Bethel School District is investigating a post where Dave Hollenbeck, the first year wrestling coach, was pictured with a knee pressed into his back, writing: “Not dead yet I’m doing this for Are police officers the media is a race baiting machine and I’m tired of it I’m going to speak out every time if you don’t like that I’m sorry but I love All people..Wake up America.”
Hollenbeck is referring to the Minneapolis police officer seen on video pinning his knee on George Floyd’s neck while he’s handcuffed, begging to breathe. Floyd lost his life as a result.
Hollenbeck, who wrestled for the WWE a few times, spoke to KOMO News and admitted his Facebook post was insensitive.
“I’m not a racist man,” Hollenbeck said. “I don’t have that in me, my children don’t have that in them, I didn’t instill that in them. I’m sorry that I offended anybody, that was not my point. I was trying to show something.”
Hollenbeck said he was defending the police officers and the technique used.
“I have a specialty in fighting on the ground, and I know that just putting your knee on the back –to me, I would say that not going to lead to death,” said Hollenbeck. “Now did he have other underlying issues? Maybe.”
The school district had this to say, via KIRO7:
“We are investigating the post,” Bethel School District spokesperson Doug Boyles said in an email to KIRO 7. “Dave Hollenbeck is not a teacher. This was his first year as a wrestling coach at Bethel High School. As wrestling season is over, he is not working for us right now.”