A Washington school district has fired first-year wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck following a social media post that he himself described as “insensitive,” according to local news network KIRO 7.
The post centered around George Floyd, who died after being held down by multiple police officers, one of whom, David Chauvin, held his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck. After being fired, Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder earlier today. The situation has sparked widespread backlash around the world, and the jiu-jitsu community in particular has been speaking up about the dangers of blood chokes and neck pressure.
Hollenbeck, however, shared a post that appeared to make light of the situation, smiling and giving a thumbs up as someone puts a knee on his neck and saying “Not dead yet” and making claims of “race-baiting” in his captions while claiming that the position couldn’t kill someone.
On Thursday, Bethel School District spokesperson Doug Boyles said, “We have completed our investigation. Dave Hollenbeck is no longer employed by the Bethel School District. His behavior was not consistent with our equity initiatives and nondiscrimination policies.”
In a statement to the news network, Hollenbeck claimed that his words weren’t racist. “I did not tell any lies; I showed that I was OK from a knee on my neck. That is it. I did not say anything racist and maybe it was insensitive at the time.”
Now, accomplished jiu-jitsu black belt Daniel Camarillo is speaking out against Hollenbeck and others who believe that the position he was held in couldn’t possibly result in death. In the emotional video, Camarillo delivers why the position was so harmful and shares his thoughts about the situation as a whole (which was made prior to Chauvin’s arrest).
You can watch the video for yourself below: