A German New York Islanders hockey player was forced to apologize for “liking” multiple Instagram posts that compared Hillary Clinton and Adolf Hitler.
“I apologize for interacting with several posts that appeared in my timeline, which were wrong to engage with,” Thomas Greiss said in a statement issued by the team. “‘Liking’ these posts was a mistake, and I sincerely apologize again.”
Greiss liked an Instagram picture featuring Hitler together with a caption: “Never arrested. Never convicted. Just as innocent as Hillary.”
— Dan Hu 🤠 (@MrDanHu) May 5, 2017
The player’s decision to “like” certain posts on social media resurfaced only recently, infuriating some fans of the team and German sports executives, but it’s unlikely that he will punished by the team in New York or the national German team, where he a part of, Newsday reported.
“All athletes have an important role model in the public arena,” German Olympic Sports Confederation president Alfons Hörmann told the German news agency SID.
“Political extremism has nothing to do with sport. 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.”
German Ice Hockey Federation VP Marc Hindelang told the Associated Press that Hitler “is a no-go, that’s clear,” although adding that players have the right to free speech and express political points of view.
“That’s democracy and we all have to deal with it. … There’s a fine line between tastelessness and intolerable things.”
The New York Islander claimed they “do not condone the actions of Thomas Gress on social media” and are “addressing the situation internally.”
“Thomas regrets his actions and recognizes that he made a mistake,” the team’s press statement added.