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Blog Entry

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Posted on: January 23, 2012 6:27 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:28 pm
Thomas elected not to visit the White House with teammates (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

WASHINGTON -- The Boston Bruins were at the White House on Monday to meet President Barack Obama. Well, almost all of them.

There was one very notable absence as the Bruins were honored in the East Room of the White House. Nobody could seem to find Tim Thomas among the crowd of players in the background. Soon enough, word got out that he elected to skip the event.

"He chose not to come. The reasons behind it I think he'll make the media aware through his Facebook," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the ceremony.

Sure enough, the reasons were made clear. Here is the message Thomas posted a little after 6 ET on his Facebook page.

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

There was a lot of anger across the hockey world on Monday because of Thomas' decision not to show up. I don't understand it one bit.

Let me say that I, myself, would never turn down an opportunity to be honored by the President of the United States, no matter how much I dislike him. It's about the office, the individual.

With that said, I have zero problem with Thomas passing on it. None at all. He has his beliefs and convictions and has every right to stand up for them. To the people who are complaining that he is being selfish and taking away from the team's spotlight, I say mission: accomplished. Look how much attention he is getting because of this and thus getting his political views shared with everybody.

"Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us," team president Cam Neely told the media after the ceremony. "We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us but that's his choice. All the guys came except for Tim. It's his decision and his choice."

Neely would later release another statement on the matter, this time a little more officially than his after-ceremony comments to the media.

"As an organization we were honored by President Obama's invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team's achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject."

Nobody should be upset about this, it's just not a big deal. He declined to go, so be it. What's the big deal?

My only issue with it is that it added a more newsy element to an otherwise light-hearted day for the Bruins. Well that and the mixing of hockey and politics. That's never a good idea.

There are so many mixed feelings on all of this, and I'm not talking about the politics themselves. Of course people won't agree on that. But sometimes you have athletes who are chided for not caring enough, not using their positions of power to make an impact. Then when players do just that, they get ripped for sharing their political views; why do we care what a goaltender thinks about big government?

I say anything that leads to discussion can't hurt. And after seeing some of the players and team officials after the ceremony, I don't think it detracted much from their experiences either. Really, this is a case of no harm, no foul for me. The man had a choice to make and he made it.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins honored at the White House

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Since: Nov 26, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:01 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Dear Tim,

You had plenty of time since you became "relevant" to hop up on the soap box and declare your anger at the US government. You instead chose to place yourself ahead of you teammates and commandeer the spotlight. You did not disrespect the President, only your teammates. I assume since you feel this strongly about the direction the government is going in that you intend to quit the NHL and run for public office. Watching reruns of Glen Beck programs should help you hone your message.





Your Teammates


Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:00 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I think Tim Thomas has become my favorite player, and I'm not exactly a Boston fan myself.  He raises a great argument, the federal government has progressively declined over the years.  As is the case with their latest blunder - SOPA/PIPA.  Thankfully that was blownup in a hurry.  Good job Tim Thomas!

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:00 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I don't get why media makes such a big deal about a player not wanting to visit the White House. Who cares? Like Thomas said, it was his decision based on personal opinions and that's that. I don't know him on a personal level but I do believe him to be a classy enough of a human to respect such a decision. Now lets talk about something important...

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:58 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

The bottom line for me is people need to respect the office.  Having said that, TT has every right to do what he did.  I just don't agree with it.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:49 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Patsfan50, you should have passed on the click button in response to that post. The fact you missed the point most of this great post is rather laughable. 95% of that post was asking questions. Since TT didn't actually have the balls to tell us why he didn't want to go the White House, that is all we have is questions. Does anyone really think Tim Thomas would have taken this stand with George Bush in the WH. Please, at least have the guts to say you couldn't stomach having your picture taking with a President you don't respect and dislike. At least Hank Williams Jr. didn't hide his hatred for the enemy........

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:48 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

i'm still trying to figure out why this is an honor.  They had their celebration last year in boston, in front of the people who actually love them. have you ever seen barack at an NHL game. he doesn't give a crap about hockey, he just does it for the publicity.  If you going to do it to honor the champions, do it a month after they win the championship, not in the middle of the next year.  This was for barack's sake, not the bruins.  Kudos for TT for not going.  It's a slap in the face to think that barack and the whole white house actually cares about the blood, sweat, and tears the bruins went through to win that championship.

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:46 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

to put it simply ... you're an idiot. it seems you believe it to be your right to be heard, although your opinion is one based on ignorance. maybe you should stop pointing your bitter finger at others and first get a clue as to what you speak of.

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:45 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Like others, I accept his individual and American right to protest the government.  Thomas twittered a statement that seems to broadly oppose the government of the United States of America.  His statement is an affront to loyal citizens that still believe our government is a government of, for and by the people. 

Is he a traitor?  An enemy?  No, he is simply a modern day Jane Fonda. 

I can only hope that patriotic fans of the Boston Bruins greet him in a manner he deserves the next time that he has the privilege to be introduced as a representative of a city that gave birth to the liberty that he has exercised.


Since: Nov 26, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:43 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Thomas was a big Glen Beck Follower. Nuff said. I think it is his ego and pay that  have grown out of control. Just another 1%ter unhappy with his millions.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:43 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

This is such a bunch of BS. The idea that it isn't poltiical is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Tim Thomas is a Republican. A conservative Republican. A Glenn Beck supporting conservative Republican. Yeah, I'm sure he wouldn't have gone if there was an R in the White House. He is totally entitled to his beliefs - I'm not saying otherwise - but him trying to paint this as a non-partisan thing is just ridiculous. Politics should just be left out of sports enitirely. Just go there, shake his hand, listen to a stupid speech, suck it up and act like a professional that gets paid money to play a sport. The idea that someone should care what Tim Thomas thinks about economic policy is insane.

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