Volkmann On Leave While High School Investigates Obama Comments

MMAPlayground.com » Community » MMA News Share Forum » Volkmann On Leave While High School Investigates Obama Comments
Next Page »
FastKnockout
1/12/11 5:48:10PM
Jacob Volkmann (Pictured) has been placed on paid administrative leave by his employer, White Bear Lake Area High School -- North Campus, while the institution conducts an investigation regarding the UFC lightweight’s postfight comments about President Barack Obama.

Volkmann, 30, serves as an assistant coach to the Minnesota school’s wrestling team and also coaches its youth wrestling club for children from kindergarten to sixth grade. His standing as head coach of the squad has not been affected.

“It’s very frustrating that they think that I’m being a bad influence on the students.” Volkmann told Sherdog.com. “That’s what their reason was [for placing me on leave].”

LINK
postman
1/12/11 5:52:58PM
Lesson to be learned never question athority class dismissed.
SmileR
1/12/11 6:16:07PM
I can't believe that is serious! Haven't the government got better things to do than hassle a guy who made a obviously sarcastic comment?!

Its not like he's going to storm the White House rip off his shirt demand Barack throws down and the winner gets to make all the medical decisions!

imanidiot777
1/12/11 7:17:05PM
this is one big pile of USA government horse crap.
BlueSkiesBurn
1/12/11 7:52:51PM

Posted by imanidiot777

this is one big pile of USA government horse crap.



Before people turn this in to a political argument which, by the way, is expressly against forum rules, let's remember a couple things.

While this is a free country and we do allow our citizens the right to criticize our president we don't allow them to threaten him. As tame as it was, Volkmann's comments are still considered threatening in nature.

It's the job of the Secret Service to investigate EVERY threat made on the President. Volkmann is receiving more attention because A.) he's a professional fighter and B.) he said it to a national audience.

Anybody in a similar position would most likely find themselves temporarily relieved of their duties if they had said they had called the President an idiot and said someone needs to knock some sense into that idiot on a national broadcast.

Volkmann made the all important error of forgetting that, despite the fact he's a UFC fighter, he's still a representative of that school, and his actions reflect on the school as well.

Perhaps the school, to avoid political affiliation, needed to take action to remind Volkmann that, when he speaks, he's also an employee of their and that students who attend their school and receive training and coaching from Volkmann have parents who don't agree with his views. He needs to keep them to himself if he wishes to remain associated with their program.

He doesn't teach at a higher education facility that lends itself to freedom of speech and outspoken professors.

It's not stupid, I completely understand it, and I also agree with them placing him on leave.

I can't count the number of times that I have said on these forums that fighters who have day jobs need to be careful about what they say. Just because you're not at work, doesn't mean the company won't fire you.

Companies fire people for what they say on Facebook and Twitter these days. Hell, most companies do a background check that includes looking at your Twitter and Facebook timelines before they even hire you. They want to know who they're hiring.

Moral of the story here is be careful what you say unless you happen to have the resources to take care of the problems that may come your way because of what you said.
papercut
1/12/11 7:53:42PM
this is actually normal procedure. in every class I've ever had near a political election always made sure to let us know that they were not allowed by school rules to express political views to their students. now usually thats in class but his comments were made public hence the repercussions.
bjj1605
1/12/11 8:08:20PM
Its totally understandable that the school would suspend him. Like Blueskies said he is still an employee of theirs when he's fighting or giving interviews.

I don't understand why the Secret Service would wast time and resources (however limited, ie gas money to get to his house) to investigate these comments.

It wasn't a serious threat. He didn't say "I'm going to knock out Barrack Obama." or "I'd kill him if I had the chance." He made a comment that was well with in his first amendment rights to criticize the government. It makes no difference if he said it publicly or if you disagree with him. The Secret Service should not be taking actions that deter people from voicing their opinions.
pmoney
1/12/11 8:23:32PM

Posted by bjj1605

Its totally understandable that the school would suspend him. Like Blueskies said he is still an employee of theirs when he's fighting or giving interviews.

I don't understand why the Secret Service would wast time and resources (however limited, ie gas money to get to his house) to investigate these comments.

It wasn't a serious threat. He didn't say "I'm going to knock out Barrack Obama." or "I'd kill him if I had the chance." He made a comment that was well with in his first amendment rights to criticize the government. It makes no difference if he said it publicly or if you disagree with him. The Secret Service should not be taking actions that deter people from voicing their opinions.



i agree 100%. All Volkmann's leave does is teach the kids at his school never to question authority, tow the company line, be a "good role model", etc. etc. Let's not forget the right to revolution is guaranteed in the United States Constitution. All this country does now a days is railroad people and punish (and sometimes imprison) people for exercising their civil liberties.

Better fall in line everyone! Post on your Facebook, but never call or see anyone you talk to. Go to work, go to the store, go home and watch TV. Then just keep paying taxes until you die. That's a good citizen!
Bloodhound
1/12/11 9:00:45PM
man this ticks me off how the government is messing with a mans life and hassling him over a comment he made in a joking matter. I guess our government has nothing better to do.
SmileR
1/12/11 9:48:28PM

Posted by BlueSkiesBurn


Posted by imanidiot777

this is one big pile of USA government horse crap.



Before people turn this in to a political argument which, by the way, is expressly against forum rules, let's remember a couple things.

While this is a free country and we do allow our citizens the right to criticize our president we don't allow them to threaten him. As tame as it was, Volkmann's comments are still considered threatening in nature.

It's the job of the Secret Service to investigate EVERY threat made on the President. Volkmann is receiving more attention because A.) he's a professional fighter and B.) he said it to a national audience.

Anybody in a similar position would most likely find themselves temporarily relieved of their duties if they had said they had called the President an idiot and said someone needs to knock some sense into that idiot on a national broadcast.

Volkmann made the all important error of forgetting that, despite the fact he's a UFC fighter, he's still a representative of that school, and his actions reflect on the school as well.

Perhaps the school, to avoid political affiliation, needed to take action to remind Volkmann that, when he speaks, he's also an employee of their and that students who attend their school and receive training and coaching from Volkmann have parents who don't agree with his views. He needs to keep them to himself if he wishes to remain associated with their program.

He doesn't teach at a higher education facility that lends itself to freedom of speech and outspoken professors.

It's not stupid, I completely understand it, and I also agree with them placing him on leave.

I can't count the number of times that I have said on these forums that fighters who have day jobs need to be careful about what they say. Just because you're not at work, doesn't mean the company won't fire you.

Companies fire people for what they say on Facebook and Twitter these days. Hell, most companies do a background check that includes looking at your Twitter and Facebook timelines before they even hire you. They want to know who they're hiring.

Moral of the story here is be careful what you say unless you happen to have the resources to take care of the problems that may come your way because of what you said.



How is anything Volkman said any different from the numerous comics, chat show host, news presenters and bloggers have been saying?
The secret service should be dealing with real threats not hassling a wrestling coach for saying "Actually, Obama. He's not too bright. Someone's gotta knock some sense into that idiot.".
MMA-San
1/12/11 11:08:02PM
This is stupid.

End topic.
FlashyG
1/12/11 11:12:34PM
This really doesn't have much to do with the Government at all.

Like BlueSkies said, he was speaking publicly and made a threat against the president. Whether he was joking or serious doesn't really matter, every threat is treated exactly the same regardless of what party the president is from.

SS investigates suburban mother's threat against Obama

SS investigates 7th graders essay threatening Bush.

Obviously they did a quick interview to assess if Volkmann was actually a danger to the President and were satisfied with his response as they didn't charge him with the Felony of threatening the POTUS.

If you want to direct your anger at someone point it at the school officials, its not like the SS had him put on leave.
sbulldavid
1/12/11 11:16:51PM
BS, that's why you shouldn't try to be a comedian if you have a day job. Does anybody really believe he wanted to beat Obama up? Besides, Christmas doesn't beat people up, he just restrains them.
roadking95th
1/12/11 11:46:40PM
I kind of take it the other way.

It is the Secret Services job to investigate everything, no matter how minor it is. I agree they should of checked him out.

I don't agree with the school's stance. I think this is a cover up. They are suspending him because his nickname is Christmas. You know how 'Christmas" pisses off public schools
BlueSkiesBurn
1/13/11 12:08:00AM

Posted by FlashyG

This really doesn't have much to do with the Government at all.

Like BlueSkies said, he was speaking publicly and made a threat against the president. Whether he was joking or serious doesn't really matter, every threat is treated exactly the same regardless of what party the president is from.

SS investigates suburban mother's threat against Obama

SS investigates 7th graders essay threatening Bush.

Obviously they did a quick interview to assess if Volkmann was actually a danger to the President and were satisfied with his response as they didn't charge him with the Felony of threatening the POTUS.

If you want to direct your anger at someone point it at the school officials, its not like the SS had him put on leave.



This, minus be angry at the school.

It is the job of the Secret Service to investigate every threat.

Actually, I was just watching a National Geographic documentary on the Secret Service last night about their duties and their protocol for investigating potential threats.

Everything they did with Volkmann is considered standard protocol. They assessed the threat and didn't charge him. It's interesting that this topic is being debated today as I was literally watching a two hour documentary on this subject.

As I already said, Volkmann SHOULD have been placed on leave by his school. People are mistaking administrative leave with being fired. He has not been fired. He's just been asked to keep away from the school until they figure out if he can be affiliated with them after his comments.

As Papercut pointed out, teachers/coaches are instructed to keep their personal politics to themselves at the K-12 level. Were Volkmann a college wrestling coach, he might not have been placed on leave, depending on the liberalism or conservatism of his university. As it stands, however, he's a High School coach and, thusly, falls into that category of "keep your mouth shut about politics."

This is FAR from abnormal. Teachers and coaches are placed on leave ALL the time for voicing their political opinions. Volkmann might not have said it AT school, but you can bet your ass that many of his students/athletes watch him compete and listen to his interviews. If you don't think the parents of his school found out about these comments because one of their children was running around saying something like "I love Coach Volkmann, he called out the President and said he wanted to fight him and that he's an idiot," then contact me via PM because I'd like to sell you MMAPlayground.com for $1500.



ncordless
1/13/11 2:46:00AM
I am kind of surprised that in the wake of a murderous rampage directed at a congresswoman, people don't think that the USSS should take every threat of physical violence against a public official very seriously.

While we are on the topic of limitations of free speech, I think this topic can be discussed without getting political, but if people start to make this thread about parties/politicians instead of issue of Presidential protection v. Volkmann's right to express himself in an MMA ring, it will get shut down.
bjj1605
1/13/11 3:04:06AM

Posted by FlashyG

This really doesn't have much to do with the Government at all.

Like BlueSkies said, he was speaking publicly and made a threat against the president. Whether he was joking or serious doesn't really matter, every threat is treated exactly the same regardless of what party the president is from.

SS investigates suburban mother's threat against Obama

SS investigates 7th graders essay threatening Bush.

Obviously they did a quick interview to assess if Volkmann was actually a danger to the President and were satisfied with his response as they didn't charge him with the Felony of threatening the POTUS.

If you want to direct your anger at someone point it at the school officials, its not like the SS had him put on leave.



Except it wasn't a threat. He said someone should do it. Not "I'm going to" or even "I'd like to."

I'm fine with the Administrative Leave like I said, its the SS investigation that bothers me.

It wasn't a threat and the guy above me trying to draw a parallel between this and a mass shooting is way off the mark.
BlueSkiesBurn
1/13/11 3:04:16AM

Posted by ncordless

I am kind of surprised that in the wake of a murderous rampage directed at a congresswoman, people don't think that the USSS should take every threat of physical violence against a public official very seriously.

While we are on the topic of limitations of free speech, I think this topic can be discussed without getting political, but if people start to make this thread about parties/politicians instead of issue of Presidential protection v. Volkmann's right to express himself in an MMA ring, it will get shut down.



You actually raise a REALLY valid point that has been forgotten in this mix. Though I think that people have forgotten about congresswoman's Gifford's assassination attempt (in this forum) because it happened well after Volkmann received a visit from the Secret Service.

You're right on point, though, ncordless. Congresswoman Gifford's doesn't even fall under the bubble of the Secret Service unless she runs for office or had received a "promotion" so to speak, within the political world.

I've done my best to shift this conversation back toward's the duties, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the Secret Service. I hope people follow suit and don't turn this in to something that it does not need to be.

I can promise everyone on this thread that this was not the government going overboard and harassing someone. They didn't single out Volkmann. This is very common place for the Secret Service and actually within their job description.

The only reason that you heard about this instance over many of the THOUSANDS of other times that the Secret Service has come out to investigate an individual making threatening comments toward the President, is because Volkmann is a UFC fighter.

Even if his comments weren't that bad and you think the government has better things to do than to talk to him, you're forgetting that this IS the job of the Secret Service.

This is what they are SUPPOSED to do. It's not like some black-ops agents kidnapped him, interrogated him in a dark cell, waterboarded, and released him. The Secret Service IS supposed to come and talk to him, assess the threat, and make a judgement call.

For people who actually read the story, the Secret Service agent actually TOLD Volkmann that he saw it, thought it was dumb that he was there, but that he HAD to for his job. Even the Special Agent knew that Volkmann wasn't a serious threat.

That being said, you should see some of the interviews of the Special Agents who FAILED to protect President Kennedy. It has RUINED them for life. People within the agency will readily admit to you that they will NEVER allow anything like that to happen again, and if that means they have to jump on a plane and talk to Volkmann, then that's exactly what they're going to do.

Failing to examine every potential threat against the President of the United States, no matter how "stupid" or "non-serious" YOU make think that threat may be is NOT an option.

I'm sure most rational people would agree that Volkmann wouldn't have/isn't going to/will never ACTUALLY try to harm the President, but the Secret Service would be failing it's most prized and sacred duty if they didn't go out and talk to him.

They can't just say "oh, it's Jacob Volkmann, he's not a real threat," because once you start making excuses for one threat against the President's life, then people will begin making others. That is simply not an option for those entrusted with guarding the safety and well being of the top officials within our country and their families.
BlueSkiesBurn
1/13/11 3:08:17AM

Posted by bjj1605

Except it wasn't a threat. He said someone should do it. Not "I'm going to" or even "I'd like to."

I'm fine with the Administrative Leave like I said, its the SS investigation that bothers me.

It wasn't a threat and the guy above me trying to draw a parallel between this and a mass shooting is way off the mark.



United States Penal Code disagrees with you, sir.


18 USC 871, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully make a true threat to injure or kill the President of the United States.

A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: That the person uttered words alleged to be the threat against the President;

Second: That the person understood and meant the words he used as a true threat; and

Third: That the person uttered the words knowingly and willfully.

A "threat" is a statement expressing an intention to kill or injure the President; and a "true threat" means a serious threat as distinguished from words used as mere political argument, idle or careless talk, or something said in a joking manner.

The essence of the offense is the knowing and willful making of a true threat. So, if it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the person knowingly made a true threat against the President, willfully intending that it be understood by others as a serious threat, then the offense is complete; it is not necessary to prove that the person actually intended to carry out the threat.



I'm actually sure that ncordless, who's going to law school, might be a tad bit more knowledgeable on the subject than yourself.

EDIT: Volkmann also met two of the three criteria before the Secret Service ever met with him, the second criteria is something that you have to investigate, hence their visit.
BlueSkiesBurn
1/13/11 3:21:39AM
Also, before people start thinking I'm just going off on a tirade about Secret Service involvement and putting them down for their lack of knowledge, I'm not.

My family WAS Secret Service. My grandfather proudly served in the Secret Service. He was Secret Service for several presidents and they actually lost President Kennedy on his watch. He would be the first to tell you that they take EVERY threat seriously. No matter how simple or WHO says it.

I'm not just talking out of my ass here. My Grandmother and Grandfather, who raised me, were stationed in the White House. My mother spent some of her childhood in the White House.

I think that people should try to educate themselves on what exactly it is that the Secret Service do before claiming that they were "harassing" Volkmann.
bjj1605
1/13/11 3:34:05AM

Posted by BlueSkiesBurn


Posted by bjj1605

Except it wasn't a threat. He said someone should do it. Not "I'm going to" or even "I'd like to."

I'm fine with the Administrative Leave like I said, its the SS investigation that bothers me.

It wasn't a threat and the guy above me trying to draw a parallel between this and a mass shooting is way off the mark.



United States Penal Code disagrees with you, sir.


18 USC 871, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully make a true threat to injure or kill the President of the United States.

A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: That the person uttered words alleged to be the threat against the President;

Second: That the person understood and meant the words he used as a true threat; and

Third: That the person uttered the words knowingly and willfully.

A "threat" is a statement expressing an intention to kill or injure the President; and a "true threat" means a serious threat as distinguished from words used as mere political argument, idle or careless talk, or something said in a joking manner.

The essence of the offense is the knowing and willful making of a true threat. So, if it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the person knowingly made a true threat against the President, willfully intending that it be understood by others as a serious threat, then the offense is complete; it is not necessary to prove that the person actually intended to carry out the threat.



I'm actually sure that ncordless, who's going to law school, might be a tad bit more knowledgeable on the subject than yourself.

EDIT: Volkmann also met two of the three criteria before the Secret Service ever met with him, the second criteria is something that you have to investigate, hence their visit.



First of all, just because he's going to law school doesn't make his opinion any more valid than mine. I'm a political science major and spend my time studying the role of government, the actions of its organizations, and its interactions with citizens. I think that many people who study the government as I do would agree that this is a ridiculous case of bureaucratic procedures leading to a useless investigation.

If the agent himself expressed displeasure with the visit that tells you that there is an institutional flaw because the actions the agents of the organization are partaking in seem ridiculous to them. This is an example where the procedures themselves become an end rather than a means. The end should be that they are protecting the President. This investigation does nothing to further that end.

Its like when a police department sees its role as writing tickets. Tickets should be a means to safer roads, not an end.

Second, maybe you should read the "penal code" that you posted. It defines threat as "a statement expressing an intention to kill or injure the President". Saying somebody should knock him out is not an intention. Perhaps if you were going to law school you would have caught that. Furthermore, the language provides exceptions even within the definition of threat for "mere political argument, idle or careless talk, or something said in a joking manner" and stipulates that the statement must be a true threat . Volkman's statement was "mere political argument" "idle/careless talk" and clearly said "in a joking matter."

By the language you yourself posted in this thread Volkman's statement should have required no investigation.
BlueSkiesBurn
1/13/11 3:49:43AM

Posted by bjj1605


First of all, just because he's going to law school doesn't make his opinion any more valid than mine. I'm a political science major and spend my time studying the role of government, the actions of its organizations, and its interactions with citizens. I think that many people who study the government as I do would agree that this is a ridiculous case of bureaucratic procedures leading to a useless investigation.

If the agent himself expressed displeasure with the visit that tells you that there is an institutional flaw because the actions the agents of the organization are partaking in seem ridiculous to them. This is an example where the procedures themselves become an end rather than a means. The end should be that they are protecting the President. This investigation does nothing to further that end.

Its like when a police department sees its role as writing tickets. Tickets should be a means to safer roads, not an end.

Second, maybe you should read the "penal code" that you posted. It defines threat as "a statement expressing an intention to kill or injure the President". Saying somebody should knock him out is not an intention. Perhaps if you were going to law school you would have caught that. Furthermore, the language provides exceptions even within the definition of threat for "mere political argument, idle or careless talk, or something said in a joking manner" and stipulates that the statement must be a true threat . Volkman's statement was "mere political argument" "idle/careless talk" and clearly said "in a joking matter."

By the language you yourself posted in this thread Volkman's statement should have required no investigation.



Except that "knocking someone out" IS injuring them. There's a reason they STOP a fight after someone has been knocked out.

Also, this isn't useless bureaucratic nonsense. This is the job of the agency. just because the agent said that he didn't think there was a serious threat does not mean that he was displeased about checking out the severity of the claim.

You're apparently disillusioned with the differences between a "useless bureaucratic investigation" and an agency's job description.

Your analogous comparison to a police officer issuing a speeding ticket to a Secret Service agent interviewing a potential threat against our President is logically flawed.

The consequences for failing to investigate any and all threats against the Presidency of the United States are FAR more severe than an officer deciding that he's not going to pull someone over. It is not even remotely comparable.

Your extensive studies of political science should have informed you that this is actually protocol for the agency and not a witch hunt. You're treating the issue as if it's just a bump in the road if the Secret Service let's it slide. It's not, and it never will be.

Since you're obviously failing to grasp the concept that every threat MUST, whether you want to or not, be taken seriously, yes, saying the President needs to be knocked out IS a threat, that falls under the "injure" category, how about we agree on the fact that's it's listed in their job description that they are supposed to investigate these claims.

You can't ever KNOW, WITH CERTAINTY, that something is a "joke" unless you investigate it. Obviously nothing came of their visit, so why is it a big deal.

Believe me, he would have been put on leave with or without a visit from the Secret Service, for the reasons I stated in a previous post. High School teachers/coaches are instructed to keep their political beliefs to themselves.
emfleek
1/13/11 8:49:34AM
REASONS EVERY THREAT, REGARDLESS OF HOW SERIOUS IT MAY BE, SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY:

Abraham Lincoln
James Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy
Andrew Jackson
Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
tallica62
1/13/11 9:31:17AM
this is absurd.... what about freedom of speech? i understand the secret service maybe just checking out the situation, but any action beyond that is unnecessary
emfleek
1/13/11 9:39:09AM

Posted by tallica62

this is absurd.... what about freedom of speech?



Freedom of Speech has its limitations. There are certain things you can't say/do no matter what you think your rights may be.
icantthinkofanything
1/13/11 11:01:09AM
looks like the plan is backfiring on Volkman more everyday
icantthinkofanything
1/13/11 11:03:11AM
Threatining the President is one of the limitations of freedom of speech. Like you can't yell fire in a movie theatre is another i think lol
tallica62
1/13/11 12:16:07PM

Posted by emfleek


Posted by tallica62

this is absurd.... what about freedom of speech?



Freedom of Speech has its limitations. There are certain things you can't say/do no matter what you think your rights may be.



i want to fight you for my next fight.... are the police coming? am i being put on administrative leave?

btw..nothing personal with that..just making my point
Pookie
1/13/11 12:27:21PM

Posted by tallica62


Posted by emfleek


Posted by tallica62

this is absurd.... what about freedom of speech?



Freedom of Speech has its limitations. There are certain things you can't say/do no matter what you think your rights may be.



i want to fight you for my next fight.... are the police coming? am i being put on administrative leave?

btw..nothing personal with that..just making my point



If i had it my way and Fleek was president, then yes. The special police are coming.

The guy threw out the presidents name for Press. Any and all consequences thrown his way should be expected. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. He's trying to make himself a name and a bit more money, i think he can handle the drama that comes with it.
emfleek
1/13/11 12:27:52PM

Posted by tallica62

i want to fight you for my next fight.... are the police coming? am i being put on administrative leave?

btw..nothing personal with that..just making my point



I'm not the President of the United States, either.

Had Volkmann said, "Mario Lopez needs to be knocked out!" he would not have received a visit from the Secret Service. When you say something of that nature about (arguably) the most powerful/important political figure in the world, especially on the stage he said it on, you have to expect repercussions of some sort
Pages: [1] 2
Related Topics