MMA Fighter Suspended from Job as Wrestling Coach Following Obama 'Glass-ectomy' Remarks

A mixed martial arts fighter from Minnesota has been knocked out from his job as an assistant wrestling coach following comments he made about President Obama last month, he told

Jacob Volkmann, 31, of White Bear Lake, Minn., said he was placed on paid administrative leave on Friday by the White Bear Lake School District after he invited Obama to make an appointment with him for a "glass-ectomy" on Dec. 30.

"A glass-ectomy is when you cut your belly button out and put a piece of glass in there so when you have your head up your butt you can see where you're going," Volkmann told a reporter following his victory over Efrain Escudero at UFC 141.

Volkmann said at least one parent contacted school officials and complained about his latest comments regarding the commander in chief. In 2011, Volkmann was visited by the Secret Service after he said Obama was "not too bright" and that "someone's got to knock some sense into that idiot." No charges were filed.

"I went to practice on Friday and they wanted to meet before practice," he told "They said, as of now, you cannot be around the kids."

Volkmann, who has not been contacted by the Secret Service for his latest anti-Obama tirade, said the comments were intended as a "joke" but stood by the remarks.

"The thing is, the joke was made to make people look at why I said it," he continued. "I only have a few seconds on air, so I need to make them count. [But] I feel that way. It was just a joke."

Volkmann said he'll consider contacting an attorney if his mandated leave lasts longer than two weeks. He has worked as an assistant wrestling coach at the 8,100-student school district for four years, he said.

Marisa Vette, director of communications for the White Bear Lake School District, confirmed that Volkmann has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. It's unclear how many complaints were received regarding Volkmann's comments, she said.

Vette referred additional questions regarding Volkmann's employment to Chris Picha, the school district's director of personnel. She could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.

Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, a nonpartisan group with offices in Washington and Tennessee, said Volkmann's remark appears closer to a vulgarity than an actionable threat.

"It's offensive, but we really don't want the government to use mere offensiveness to govern speech," Policinski told "But the terms of his employment agreement might give [district officials] greater latitude."

Policinski said Volkmann's comments may provide a "negative impression" in the eyes of district officials, but noted that he appeared in the capacity of a mixed martial arts fighter -- and not an assistant wrestling coach. Remarks that pertain to the president, however, can be taken "more seriously" than those relating to other individuals, he said.

"That sounds more like a vulgar remark than a threat, at least on the surface," Policinski said of Volkmann's "glass-ectomy" comment. "The First Amendment doesn't mandate civility, even though we may wish it did. One person's vulgarity is another person's off-handed remark."

David Hudson, a scholar at the First Amendment Center, said the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 in Rankin v. McPherson ruled that a clerical employee in a Texas constable's office had her First Amendment rights violated when the constable fired her for making a comment that she hoped that then-President Reagan's would-be assassin -- John Hinckley Jr. -- hit him.

"Volkmann was speaking off duty, which makes this more of an overreaction," Hudson wrote in an email.

Click here to view Volkmann's UFC profile.