Greiss is playing for Team Germany at the IIHF world championships. Last week, fans took note of some of his social media activity on Instagram, where Greiss liked a few memes that were critical of former presidential candidate.
Fans like this:
— Dan Hungerbühler ???? (@MrDanHu) May 5, 2017
One of them evoked Adolf Hitler:
Here’s the thing about ‘liking’ Hitler memes on social media: It might not necessarily play that well back in the homeland.
It was picked up by the SID, a German news agency, who asked German Olympic Sports Confederation president Alfons Hörmann about it, and boy was he not happy, saying that Greiss shouldn’t be allowed to play for Germany in the 2018 Winter Olympics even though he probably won’t be there anyway considering the NHL’s not participating.
“All athletes have an important role model in the public arena,” says Hörmann, “political extremism has nothing to do with sport,” he added. “We will continue to emphasize the special importance of the values of sport for the Olympics – our team in Germany – Zero tolerance. Therefore, maintaining this communication would be a clear exclusion criterion for this or other player.”
From the Associated Press, speaking with German Ice Hockey Federation vice president Marc Hindelang:
Hindelang said there would be no consequences for Greiss beyond a talk between the federation and the player. “There’s a fine line between tastelessness and intolerable things … Hitler is a no-go, that’s clear,” said Hindelang, who added that players had the right to have their own opinions and political preferences.
“That’s democracy and we all have to deal with it,” Hindelang said. “He’s going to stay in the squad. He won’t be suspended.”
Greiss is under contract with the Islanders through 2020. They play in Brooklyn, where Donald Trump won 18 percent of the vote.
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