This just in, the Team Germany has officially cut ties with Detroit Red Wings goaltender and confirmed that he will not be invited to represent the team at the 2021 IIHF World Championships due to "values contradicting with the values of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB)".
Michael Bauer, who covers the German DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) for the German-language Eishockey News publication, confirmed today that indeed the country's governing body will not be inviting Greiss to any events, including the 2021 IIHF World Championships slated to be held later this month.
From Bauer translated from German:
German has now clearly positioned itself on Thomas Greiss: When asked, sports director Christian Künast said: “As long as the current sports management is responsible, Thomas Greiss will not be invited.”
Greiss has been an outspoken supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump and notoriously likened Hillary Clinton to Adolf Hitler back in 2017. He was also a staunch listener and supporter of now deceased talk radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh. The German DEB has unilaterally decided that these beliefs are not compatible with their own values and as a result Greiss is out.
You may also recall that Greiss raised some eyebrows around the NHL back in 2014 when he wore a seemingly Nazi "SS" inspired mask with the Arizona Coyotes.
Check it out:
The lettering of the "SS" is awfully familiar to the lettering that Nazi soldiers wore in WWII. Now, could this have just been a coincidence? Absolutely. But given that Greiss is German, he can't really genuinely claim ignorance in this case. If nothing else, it was a poor choice of design that only ended up with Greiss making himself a target. Ditto for his comments about Trump and Clinton, really.
Are hockey players free to express themselves? You bet. Does that mean though that they might limit their opportunities as a result of their opinions? You bet.
Frankly though, I couldn't imagine running a team and looking past a player because of his political beliefs. Once the puck drops and the game is on I couldn't care less who you voted for, but that's just me. I'm sure the German Federation has more information at their disposal to make this decision than anyone else. Oh... and they just happen to have Phillipp Grubauer available to them as well, making their decision even easier.
Source: Michael Bauer · Photo Credit: Zuma Press