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 19, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:59 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

He put his political beliefs before his team--sure, give him credit for speaking up, but he probably chose the wrong occasion to out himself as a right-wing, me-first, all-star goalie. Hockey's great tradition is the post-game handshake--you line up and shake hands no matter how much you hate your opponent. Skipping the handshake is childish and cowardly. Same thing here.  I wonder what his teammates are thinking...

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:52 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

There is nothing wrong with making a political statement or stating what your values are and sharing your frustration over the state of our country today.  Without a doubt, both sides of the isle are guilty as are all three branches of government........

However, in this case, Tim Thomas missed the point.  This is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with the President.  Instead of viewing the President as a part of a problem, this should have been viewed on a bigger picture level.  The man in the White House is just that, a man in the White House.......but the President as a position means a great deal to our country.  There have been many amazing Presidents and many who are rolling in their graves at how things are now.  Thomas might have set aside his feelings and looked at the trip as an opportunity to meet with the idea of a President and take the personal part out of it. 

Tim Thomas and other athlete's do not carry enough weight for this type of action to have any impact on the state of the union.  Conversely it does ensure that someone with a PR job for the Bruins will be busy answering questions and spinning it so that there is as little backlash as possible.

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:46 pm

Ok,in smaller words and slower

@jt1221....Try and follow this now.It`s really not that complicated.Tim Thomas himself said he admired both that idiot Glenn Beck and the founding fathers.As is common knowledge to ANYone in the world,his founding father`s owned slaves.He admired these slave owners.He`s on record as saying he admired these men.I`m not sure what part of that you don`t understand ?? Unless he`s a bigger idiot than he`s already proven,he`d know that he admires slave owners.The fact that someone dosen`t have to tell you not to step in front of a bus shouldn`t encourage you to step in front of the bus.Common sense already would dictate you know that.The same common sense that dictate`s Thomas is quite aware of his "idols" treatment of other human beings.He admires men that treated other humans like farm animals.That`s a fact.Look it up in your history books.Seriously,it`s there.Then maybe, just in case that idiot Thomas is the only person in the country that DOSEN`T know what those "wonderful" men did to other humans,maybe let him know. 
I`m not sure what part of your founding fathers being slave owners you don`t understand ?? It`s called history.I didn`t do it.Don`t kill the messanger


Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 1:55 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I would consider Thomas a coward if he went to the White House instead of stading up for what he believes to be right. I think most of you have it backwards by calling him a coward. I believe a coward is someone who shuts their mouth and just follows like a sheep without speaking their mind.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 1:13 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

"As for others trying to make political statements, like blaming the current economy all on Bush or Obama, I suggestyou do a little more research because there is a lot more involved with our current troubles than just these two men, overregulation being the biggest problem."

I'm good with that up until the last statement, eagle.

I'll see your 'over regulation'  and raise you a Love Canal (lots of kids got cancer), a Gulf Oil Spill (hope ya don't eat shrimp) and the Exxon Valdez (tried to hit every decade).

Thank goodness, or rather our regulations, that we haven't had a Union Carbide Bhopal incident (to refresh your memory, 25,000 dead and 500,000 injured).
Now ask yourself which country you'd rather live with regulations against raping the earth and the rest of us, or one that doesn't.

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Thomas has a right to refuse to visit the White House just like others have a right to disagree with it. However, to get sanctimonious and say Thomas is a bad person to stand up for his belief is the epitome of stupidity. I think for most people it comes down to whether they support Obama or not, which is not what this was about. Thomas himself said this did not have to do with political parties because he felt both parties are at fault with the disregarding of the Constitution.

As for others trying to make political statements, like blaming the current economy all on Bush or Obama, I suggestyou do a little more research because there is a lot more involved with our current troubles than just these two men, overregulation being the biggest problem.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:41 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:17 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Patsfan for real??? Who's to say Thomas wanted this attention??? What did he think was going to happen when he decided not to go??? BTW, I didn't miss your point. I just think its a really bad point. So if the test here is that we need to be personally effected by a story to comment on it, why does this board exist. I'll make this real easy on you, here is how I feel. Tim Thomas had every right to do what he did and I have every right to criticize him. Are we good with that, or does Tim Thomas' rights supercede mine???

BTW, you asked if I were ever invited to the WH and declined to go the WH would I expect to have to explain it. First off all, I wouldn't decline the invitation (no matter who was the President). In this context, I would do this for my teammates if for no other reason. But I'll play the game, if I were to decline, not only would I "expect" to have to explain myself, I would "want" to explain myself if I felt strongly enough to take that action in the first place.....

I do see your point as well but never once did I say that we should have to be personally affected to comment on a story.I was mere pointing out that the OP should have been more objective with his question than just blast with such inflamatory questions just to make Thomas look like a bad guy.  Also yes you have every right to criticize Thomas for not going, even though that was never my point.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:16 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Tim Thomas is such a douchebag. Did he take part in the Boston parade for the Stanley Cup win? Was the Boston Mayor part of the parade? Did the Mayor of Boston honor the team, and did he show up for THAT ceremony? I don't for one minute think it is about anything but the current holder of the office of President of the United States. With his selfish, arrogant actions, Thomas has given a huge black eye to his organization and to the city of Boston. This is especially egregious considering Boston's history on race relations, which I should not have to mention is TERRIBLE. Celtics were the last team to be integrated in the NBA, the school "bussing" issue to integrate schools in the early 80s (or was it late 70s?). The Bruins should have made it clear that this was a team function and that Thomas was required to go. Period. If he felt so strongly about his beliefs, then what better opportunity to share them than with the most powerful man in the world at the White House? If the President honors YOUR TEAM and invites everyone to the White House, then you must go.  Instead, this coward stays home, and he is the only one on the team to do so. What an idiot. Of course he is entitled to his opinion, but he chooses this function as his own form of protest against out of control government spending?  What a tool!  He should be suspended without pay for a game or two by the Bruins. Hey, if I screw up at work and make my boss look bad, or the make the company look bad, then I get disciplined. Same rules should apply here.  Tim Thomas is not self-employed. He works for the Bruins and this is their problem to handle. They alreadyt screwed up the part about requiring his attendance at the White House. Now they have to deal with this headache that they and Thomas have created.

Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:13 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

As a Habs fan I applaud Tim's convictions.  The man has proven on the ice that he has ***; now, he has proven it in the world of mass media.  Congrats, Tim.  You are the man!!!! 

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