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: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:37 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Nicely said Thomas.   I agree with the point and yes both parties need to take tons of blame on the 15 Trillion dollar hole we are in.  Disco he believes he is doing this to help save the country and draw attention to what he believes is wrong so slamming him for going to the Olymics makes no sense.  

Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:33 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Bruins going to the White House was not to discuss politiics. It was about a team being honored. TT should go to occupy wall st if he wants to fight the government, not take the spotlight away from his team.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:28 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

As a life long bruins fan, I am embarrassed by Tim's decision. He had no problem wearing a Team USA sweater in the Olympics two years ago. Had no problem accepting that silver medal. Smiled proudly whie craning forward to have it placed around his neck. Missed a huge opportunity to actually say to the president, all the things on his mind, but chose to do so through the press. Coward....

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:23 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

bmon say:
"We basically have the rich, getting richer
and the middle & poor classes getting poorer…  Here is a man with some wealth, actually
standing up for the middle and poor classes…. 
Yet, many fans are stating absurd things about his decision.  REALLY?"

Y'know, I didn't get the impression that he's standing up for the oppressed middle and poor class.
People who say things the way TT did are mad beacause of the 'size of governernment' (read SAFETY NETS for the poor and elderly); they're mad because the Federal Government tells the States that they can't dicrimininate against people of color, or age, or gender, or different national origin; they're mad because they've been told the Feds are going to take their deer guns away;  they're mad because the Federal Government requires that all kids, not just wealthy  white male ones, have equal access to education

Honestly, I don't understand it either. Other than landed gentry and ther KKK, who  could reasonably be upset at those things? Ok, the one about guns maybe, if it were anywhere near true.

No, the mantra has been to "take us back to the Founding Fathers" where colored people were owned, women were less than property, and only white men who owned land had any real rights.

I have a good bit of anger towards the people in federal government right now, but not in the government itself. 

Lest some of you decide that I'm just a 'tree hugging Hollywood liberal', I'm a States Rights kinda guy, but at the top is the  Charter we all live under. The one that says "All Men are created equal".

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:07 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Wow Neptune, I hope you aren't teaching that US Government Studies 101 class....

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:39 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I appaulaud Tim Thomas and is decision. Its his decision and his alone. Freedom is what made this country great and we have definately gotten away from what our founding fathers wrote in the Constitution regarding ALL freedoms. Im sick and tired of all the suck-ups in this world that blow down to someone with a title just to impress. Everyone has they own responsibilities in life and everyone makes their own choices. Obama choose to be President which came with tremendous responsibility, but again, his choice. Thats what makes this country great and we need to get back to it. Tim Thomas made his choice...not to attend. Well played.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:20 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I'd like to hear from those who think this was a fine decision by Thomas: what do you think when Hollywood stars voice their personal, political opinions? Is that "a free choice that (you) appreciate" and do you support their actions with the same vigor as you do Tim Thomas'? 

Just curious.  Because, you know, movie stars and athletes are about the same level of relevancel, and both are relatively ignorant of how things like government actually work.  So, across the political spectrum, are we supposed to invite these kinds of bold, uninformed proclamations by ignoramuses, or are we supposed to scoff at them because they are ridiculous on their faces?

I'd wager that the same people who love TT's red meat BS also despise celebrities who spout off about how the world should be.  But if I'm wrong, do tell.

Food for thought.  Now let's get back to hockey, how's about?

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:41 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

In reading a number of posts here about Tim Thomas’ decision
not to attend the White House; I am completely and utterly appalled by the
negative reaction.

First and foremost, do we not live in a country where we ALL
have rights to make decisions of what we believe in?  It is absolutely ridiculous that posters here
are disgusted with Thomas and are suggesting to “boo” him for the rest of the

For those of you who agree in “booing” Thomas; do you fully
comprehend his actions?  This is not a
political soap box, but our country is in great disarray.  We basically have the rich, getting richer
and the middle & poor classes getting poorer…  Here is a man with some wealth, actually
standing up for the middle and poor classes…. 
Yet, many fans are stating absurd things about his decision.  REALLY?

I am not a Boston fan… 
However, I am now a Tim Thomas fan. 
Thank you Tim.  Even though your
actions may be small in nature, I hope there are many others who have your fame
and wealth who choose to show a similar display of dissatisfaction to our government.

Since: Jan 1, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:12 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

You're a goalie. Half of these guys need to see a sports psychologist because of the pressure they feel. Try being the President! Wether you like them or not, agree with them or disagree, it is still the President and it is disrespectful to him and your team mates to be such a self righteous tool. You don't like the system, leave. I am not a fan of the Obama administration but there is no reason for any American to disrespect our President. Go into politics if you want to change the way things are done, I am sure some if not most of your team mates were glad to be there, but instead you had to turn the spotlight on your views rather than your team(which I am not a fan of either). Way to go A hole.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 1:28 am

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Bravo, Timmy T! Bravo!

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