Cancel culture, knowing no bounds, has now entered the hockey crease.
Thomas Greiss, goaltender of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, will not be representing his native Germany in any international hockey events in the foreseeable future. The German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) admitted as much yesterday when responding to an Instagram post from two months ago when Greiss expressed condolences on the passing of conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.
DEB sports director Christian Künast told reporter Michael Bauer of Eishockey News, “As long as the current sporting management is responsible, Thomas Greiss will not be invited (to the upcoming 2021 World Hockey Championships). We cannot be 100 percent sure of his attitude to our values, which are in the statutes. A nomination is therefore currently not tenable.”
Greiss has been a vocal supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump, and notoriously likened Hillary Clinton to Adolf Hitler back in 2017. Greiss later apologized for the acerbic social media behaviour. Shortly thereafter, DEB Vice President Marc Hindelang came to Greiss’s defense stating, ““It’s very important to make clear that Thomas Greiss is definitely not a right-wing extremist nor a right-wing populist.”
At the time, Greiss was a member of the NHL’s New York Islanders, and had signed a three-year contract extension with the club three and a half months prior to the Clinton-Hitler statement on Instagram.
In October of last year, Greiss inked a two-year, $7.2 million US contract with the Red Wings, and at the age of 35 has shown a resurgence in play. Yesterday, while the DEB made its statement cutting ties with Greiss, the NHL announced that the veteran goaltender was the league’s Player of the Week.
Last April, Greiss used Instagram as a helping hand to those suffering from the effects of COVID-19.
Greiss’ Instagram account is laced with good-humoured quotes, self-deprecating pics, pride in his adopted home of America, and hugging it out or hamming it up with his wife Brittany who was Miss South Dakota in 2014. The couple have a daughter.
Canadian hockey fans remember Greiss well for a 35-save performance against Canada at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin. He was also named to the German Olympic squad at the Vancouver Games in 2010.