Props: Twitter (@JacobVolkmann)
A few days ago, we tried to warn Jacob Volkmann that it might not be in his best interest to continue to market himself as “that UFC fighter who hates Obama and got punked by the Secret Service”. It’s a stupid thing to take pride in, and we can’t help but feel that it fuels the whole “MMA fighters are stupid and violent” stereotype that many detractors carry. And frankly, Volkmann hasn’t been finishing his real fights, so it’s hard to suspend our disbelief when we hear him talk about how he’d rip the president’s arm with a Kimura.
Well, Jacob Volkmann now has some extra time to either take our advice or write better jokes, as he has been placed on administrative leave from his coaching job at White Bear Lake High School. This is the second time that the school has placed Volkmann on administrative leave for his comments about the president. The first came after his infamous comments after UFC 125, which also earned him a visit from the Secret Service.
We realize that administrative leave must be frustrating, but it’s confusing to hear Jacob Volkmann call the move “unethical”. The last time Volkmann was disciplined by White Bear Lake High School for his comments, the school explained why he was placed on leave and what was expected of Volkmann in future interviews. As Ariel Helwani reported:
Upon his return to the high school, Volkmann was given a three-page letter explaining why he was punished. He was also forced to agree to not break four rules in the future. Those rules are as follows:
1. No disrespectful name-calling in interviews (ie. idiot, moron, etc.)
2. Can’t wear White Bear Lake HS clothes while being interviewed.
3. No interviews on school property.
4. No calls for violence against any member of the school board.
Regardless of how you feel about those rules, those are the rules that Volkmann agreed to. He clearly violated that first rule with his recent comments, and is now being punished for it. That doesn’t exactly sound unethical; it sounds like how rules work.
Jacob Volkmann is just one more example in a sport full of them that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. You are legally allowed to say (almost) anything that comes to mind, but this does not mean that there aren’t consequences for what you say- especially if you’ve already been warned by your boss not to say something. Hopefully Volkmann learns from this and shies away from the “threats against the president” routine in the future. It would be a shame for him to lose his job over something like this.