Wrestling coach fired over social media post mocking George Floyd

The Bethel School District fired Dave Hollenbeck but he has no remorse and even defended his post.

(Credit: screenshot and Benjamin Crump)

A Washington State wrestling coach has found himself without a job after he made a post on social media of him smiling while re-enacting George Floyd‘s death and making claims that “race baiters” were making a big deal out of nothing.

According to a local CBS affiliate, Thursday the Bethel School District confirmed it had fired a first-year high school wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck following an investigation into a social media post that showed him lying on the ground with a knee on the back of his neck as he smiles for the camera and gives a thumbs-up.

George Floyd (Credit: Benjamin Crump)

READ MORE: Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin charged for murder of George Floyd

“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,” said district spokesman Doug Boyles.

There’s now no doubt that Hollenbeck’s post was referencing to Floyd, whose death sparked national outrage on Monday after Minneapolis police were caught on camera pinning him to the ground with a knee to the neck.

READ MORE: Barack Obama breaks silence on the death of George Floyd: ‘We can and must be better’

The viral clip of Floyd begging for mercy as he sputtered out complaints that he could not breathe, was heartbreaking for many who saw it, including conservatives like Meghan McCain who during a broadcast of The View insisted that the police officers be put on trial, given they had committed a “blatant murder of an unarmed black man” in broad daylight.

But Hollenbeck seemed to disagree with the public consensus, instead writing under his since-deleted Facebook post, “This is for all the race baiters and people that don’t What (sic) they’re talking about when they’re saying that this could kill you.”

READ MORE: Trump calls George Floyd protesters ‘thugs,’ threatens to send military

Before he was flagged, the now unemployed coach appeared to have updated the caption, as a second screenshot being shared on social media shows him writing: “Not dead yet I’m doing this for Are [sic] 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.”

“There is no reasonable rationale for him to post anything like that,” said Jay Davenport, one of the parents outraged over the post. “It’s about humanity, it’s about integrity; that post lacks both.”

But Hollenbeck apparently has no remorse and even defended his post in an interview with the news station, explaining, “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.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!