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.