The Boston Bruins were hosted at the White House today at a reception celebrating their 2011 Stanley Cup win with US President Barack Obama — but they were a man short. That’s because Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was a no-show.
Why, you ask? Due to political reasons. Apparently, Thomas is not too fond of Obama’s policies.
Thomas explained why he skipped the party at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with the rest of his teammates on his Facebook page. Here is his statement, via Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris.
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.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli tells the New York Daily News that while the club had the right to suspend him for not participating in the event, that will not happen.
I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don’t, I can suspend him. But I’m not going to suspend Tim. Whatever his position is isn’t representative of the Boston Bruins or my own.
Chiarelli goes on to say in the Globe and Mail that the club is supportive of Thomas.
We’re like a family. We have our issues. You deal with them, move on, and try and support everyone.
Similarly, Faceoff.com quotes Bruins president Cam Neely as saying that the organization would have loved to have him join the rest of the players in Washington but understood why the Davison, Michigan did what he did.
Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us. We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us. But it’s his choice. It’s obviously not a choice most of the guys… well all of the guys came except for Tim. But it’s his decision and his choice.
Marcus Hondro of the Digital Journal reports that the Bruins have tried to convince the Conn Smyth Trophy winner to attend the event for the past few months but Thomas would have none of it.
And why would he, when he’s such a staunch conservative and dislikes Obama’s policies:
- Are a fan of former Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck, and wanted to be a guest on the conservative’s talk show (source).
- Is a donor to FreedomWorks, a group of “fundamentally opposed to the Obama presidency on almost every issue” (source).
- He has been celebrated as a “true Tea Party patriot” by the conservative blog Big Government for having the “In God We Trust” and the Gadsden flag painted on his mask (source).
Meanwhile, the Toronto Star reports that the recenption went well. President Obama even joked around with some of the players.
On the Bruins’ 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara raising the Stanley Cup:
Which is, I’m sure, the highest that the Stanley Cup had ever been.
On Bruins forward Brad Marchand’s scrappy play during the playoffs:
The Little Ball of Hate shrugged off the rookie jitters. What’s up with that nickname, man?
Obama didn’t mention Thomas’s absence. Nor VP Biden’s, by the way. Probably because he has forgotten about him, like the rest of us. In case you miss him, here’s a reminder of what he looks like.
For what it’s worth, we’d like to commend Thomas for his convictions. It’s a rare thing to see an athlete stand up for what they believe is right — especially when it may not be so popular. Bravo Tim!