Tim Thomas turns down White House visit with Barack Obama

Tim Thomas turns down a visit to the White House. Do we really care?

1/23/12 in NHL   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

The Boston Bruins visited Barack Obama at the White House today to celebrate their Stanley Cup championship. Well... most of them did. Goalie Tim Thomas was a notable exception.

He released the following statement explaining why he turned down the honor:

"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
"

Does it matter? Well... no, not really. It's not the first time someone has declined such a visit, and it won't be the last. And if you're a Tim Thomas fan, you were probably a fan because of his incredible goaltending skills, or maybe you're just a fan of the Bruins in general.

To allow this to taint your opinion of Thomas would be no different than agreeing philosophically with Barack Obama, yet still voting against him because he's a White Sox fan.

Personally, I've never been a fan of athletes speaking out on political issues. Not because I don't believe in free speech, but because I believe many Americans are ignorant enough to listen to the political views someone whose only legitimate claim to fame is their athletic ability. The same can be applied to actors, musicians and other celebrities.

If Tim Thomas speaks out for or against a political ideology, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Just like any other professional athlete. While you probably shouldn't hold his opinion any higher than that of your next door neighbor, it would be equally ignorant to hold it against him if his opinion differs from that of your own.

Enjoy the game, love the sport, appreciate his acrobatic goaltending. For the sake of your own sanity, ignore his politics. And do the same for other athletes, as well.
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1/26/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

wrote:
I can respect that. If he just didn't want to go, then say he just didn't want to go. HE made it a big deal.

I think he just secretly had a date with that Boston cabbie.

1/26/12   |   Jess   |   34455 respect

I think the media and fans who are into politics care way more about this than the team or coaches, and probably even Thomas. Seriously.

1/26/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

wrote:
That's why he was benched for that game and on the trading block, according to sources close to the franchise, for his selfishness. Anyone else want to say I'm wrong? LMAO

He and Tuukka Rask regularly alternate games, so being "benched" really isn't a big deal for Boston goalies. Tuukka has played 18 games already, so he's obviously no ordinary backup. They're grooming him to replace Thomas, perhaps even as soon as next year, when he and Thomas might swap roles. I wouldn't read too much into the benching.

As for the trade rumors, I've heard nothing definitive about that, although they've been shopping him around semi-seriously for a couple years now, so that's also not really huge news.

The goalie situation in Boston right now is really unique, so you can't really take things the same way as you might in any other city.

1/25/12   |   Jizmaglobin   |   540 respect

 The fact Thomas sees our government as pucked up only means he's paying attention. He never said he's against Obama or anyone else. Only that he's against the direction our government is going regarding the removal of our individual rights as citizens. And as far as wiping your ash with the flag, that flag is supposed to stand for the freedom of being able to do just that right before you burn it. It's called freedom and that is what this country is supposed to be all about.

1/25/12   |   Jizmaglobin   |   540 respect

 This makes me more of a Tim Thomas fan.

1/25/12   |   Jess   |   34455 respect

(Edited by Jess)

I actually don't think HE made a big deal out of it...I'm sure that he was anticipating backlash from the media (you know that the minute they noticed he wasn't there, it would have been a huge ordeal), and simply made a preemptive strike and released a very tactful statement as to why he chose not to attend. He could have made a much bigger deal about it, made a big fuss, etc. but from what I gather, he just explained his decision. 

I really don't think that's putting yourself above the team either. As Pat said, this might have been a public appearance but it wasn't critical that he was there. I don't see anywhere that any of the Bruins are taking offense to this...I'm not sure why we should.

*edit - also, I could see it being a problem if he picked a side and went nutso with his own agenda in support. He's just standing up and saying that he's not happy with what the government, in its entirety, has come to. As a US born citizen, that is his right. I really don't think it's a huge deal.

1/25/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

wrote:
Absolutely, he's a great goaltender and a non-criminal. But he still put himself above his team & the organization by not going. If it was a family issue, or he was saving starving children in a 3rd World country, then he gets a pass. But he was selfish - end of story.

Eh... if it was something that was actually vital to the team, it would be one thing. But this wasn't a game, a practice or a team meeting. It was just hob-knobbing with the President. Would I go, if I had the chance? Hell yeah I would. Do I care if someone else doesn't feel like going? Not even a tiny bit.

1/25/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

wrote:
Obviously, you didn't read what I wrote! I have no quarrel over his political beliefs. I have a problem of him putting himself above his teammates and the organization. I have a problem with him be only one of TWO US-born players on that team and he puts himself above his country. He doesn't have to like Obama or anything else the Democrats, Republicans or Tea Party has done, but you wipe your @$$ with the American flag, you expect to get a boot in the nuts and shipped to Mexico!

See... the thing is... he didn't wipe his @$$ with the flag, nor did he put himself above his country or his teammates. He simply declined an invitation.

His actual job is to stop the opposing team from putting the puck in the net, and he does a damn good job of it. I'll take him as my goalie any day of the week, no matter how much of a nut job he is off the ice. At least he's not getting arrested.

1/25/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

wrote:
While he has every right as an individual, this was a TEAM honor and NO ONE is above the team!

If I was Boston's GM, he would on the next bus to Columbus - who has NO chance of ever meeting the President, even when they play the Capitols in Washington - for players that have respect for the name of the FRONT of the jersey, rather than the name on the BACK of it.

While we're at it, Team USA should make sure they lose any and all invitations to Mr. Thomas for any future tournaments and Olympics, giving his spot to REAL Americans!

If you were Boston's GM, you'd be fired for shipping off the best goalie in the NHL for his political beliefs.

That would be like a Cubs fan demanding Obama be impeached because he likes the White Sox. Absolutely insane and illogical.

1/24/12   |   anthonyrichardlouisnaught   |   1753 respect

Jess wrote:
He stood up for something he believed in - kudos to him.

I have mixed feelings about athletes and other celebs being vocal about their political beliefs. Yes, they're in the spotlight and in so being, they should act responsibly when it comes to public behavior. However, this is their home too and they have just as much right as we do to voice their opinions and take whatever action they feel is necessary to emphasize them.

I dunno. Good for him for doing what he felt was right. I just hope people aren't stupid and don't either hold it against him or hold him on a pedestal for it. 

I think Tim Thomas is a moron for bringing that point of view to a President who has done as much as Republicans insofar as to decrease government and the rights of the American citizens, especially since the TeaPublicant's took over the Congress.

1/23/12   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

If I were invited to the White House to be honored by the President...  You bet I'd go no matter who the President was.  I do it because it is cool and out of respect for the office.

That being said...  He certainly is within his rights to refuse to go.  Based on his statement it doesn't look like a crusade of any sort on his part since he claimed that statement was all that would be said on the matter. 

1/23/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Whether I voted for the man in the Oval Office or not, I wouldn't allow my political beliefs to overpower my excitement of "holy crap I'm actually getting to GO to the White House!"

1/23/12   |   Jess   |   34455 respect

He stood up for something he believed in - kudos to him.

I have mixed feelings about athletes and other celebs being vocal about their political beliefs. Yes, they're in the spotlight and in so being, they should act responsibly when it comes to public behavior. However, this is their home too and they have just as much right as we do to voice their opinions and take whatever action they feel is necessary to emphasize them.

I dunno. Good for him for doing what he felt was right. I just hope people aren't stupid and don't either hold it against him or hold him on a pedestal for it. 

1/23/12   |   Scullyson   |   15142 respect

He's entitled to his opinion. Bet nobody missed him....smh