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Talking Tim Thomas

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

The question was never whether Thomas HAD the right to skip the White House visit, but SHOULD he simply have stifled his personal interests for the betterment of a team celebrating their win one last time. Many will applaud the B’s goaltender for damning the torpedoes and simply doing what he felt was right in his world view. That is the kind of stand-alone bravery that can foster change in times when it’s needed.

But here’s one suggestion: why not announce Thomas’ intentions prior to the visit in order to defuse the situation and take the heat out of it on Monday afternoon. Thomas is wonderful at stopping pucks in tense situations and he’s one of the most humble athletes you’ll ever come across.

But he’s not a brilliant PR strategist and there seems to have been no notion of getting out ahead of the train wreck that steamed into the East Wing of the White House Monday afternoon.

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from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league. Need I go on? All that and more applies to what Thomas did, on a day when Cup teammates Mark Recchi (now retired), Shane Hnidy (a radio guy these days in Winnipeg), and Tomas Kaberle (a member of some Original Six team in Canada), all gladly joined the red-white-blue-black-and-gold hugfest at the White House.

Thomas needed to be there in solidarity, and celebration, with his team. It was the same government yesterday, and will be today, that protected his country, his security, his family, and his right to make $5 million a year, all last season. In his absence, he stole his teammates’ spotlight. Win as a team. Lose as a team. And when asked to stand up and take a bow, then stand up there and suffer if need be, even if you don’t like the setting, the host, or any of the political trappings and tenets that come with it.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+thomas

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LOL how funny that the Boston Globe, a liberal paper would find it “Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league”  No there’s no agenda there.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 12:10 PM ET

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It is bush league. Thomas took a non-political team event and made it all about him. And I don’t buy the argument that he just wanted to make a quiet statement about his no-show later with no comment. Do we really buy that he is so naive that he didn’t realize the reprecussions of his actions?

I can’t imagine anyone thinks he shouldn’t have the right not to attend, just that he had poor judgement in exercising that right. I wouldn’t say the same thing necessarily if this was a ceremony just for him. Then his absence wouldn’t have embarrassed his team and left them to explain themselves.

Sad on both sides of the political spectrum when someone feels that they can’t even associate with anyone who has political opinions diverse to their own.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 12:19 PM ET

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Sad on both sides of the political spectrum when someone feels that they can’t even associate with anyone who has political opinions diverse to their own.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 09:19 AM ET

Exactly.  Suck it up and show some humility, be willing to at least go as a show of good will regardless of your disagreements with someone.

If they were doing this event with some sort of business, you know damn well that they’d all show up, even if they disliked that particular business person as a result of what they’ve done in their business.  For some reason, people think it’s okay in politics to pretend that those who don’t agree with you aren’t actually people and don’t deserve your respect as people.  Whatever happened to respectfully disagreeing with someone in politics?

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 01/24/12 at 12:30 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 09:10 AM ET

But is he wrong?

I don’t think you read the entire article—probably just the snippet Paul chose to post. If you had read the whole article, you would’ve seen this part:

Thomas didn’t need to issue a written statement yesterday, not when he could have made one by showing up at the White House and quietly picking his moment to utter a few simple words of disappointment to President Obama.

How easy, how far more courageous and honorable, it would have been to say, “Hi, I’m Tim Thomas, and I appreciate the fact my team was invited here today. I don’t like what’s going on in this country. I’m not the least bit impressed with your leadership. But I am proud of what we did, I’m proud to be an American, proud to be a Boston Bruin, and I’d like to see everyone in the government do a better job of adhering to the Constitution. Oh, and I’ve got a question for you about power plays . . . ’’

Not exactly left-wing bias. Overall, the article is totally balanced and is focused on the fact that Thomas hurt the perception of his team, and detracted from a moment that the entire team should’ve shared in equally. Instead, he took the spotlight away from his team members and made it a negative situation.

This isn’t to say Thomas is right or wrong… that’s really irrelevant to the argument. There’s a time and a place for everything, and that’s all this is about.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/24/12 at 12:34 PM ET

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Thomas took a non-political team event and made it all about him.

No he didn’t.  The media made it about him.

Sad on both sides of the political spectrum when someone feels that they can’t even associate with anyone who has political opinions diverse to their own.

You do, of course, realize that this isn’t Tim sitting at a table with relatives and/or friends who disagree with him politically, right?

It’s a photo op for the PRESIDENT.  This isn’t just “disagreement”, this is putting aside his political beliefs to stand next to the ma, shake his hand, smile and pretend that he doesn’t have huge problems with the way he feels the government is being poorly run.

Posted by Garth on 01/24/12 at 12:35 PM ET

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@Garth: Since when is shaking someone’s an endorsement of everything they stand for? Hockey players who despise each other shake hands at the end of a playoff game.

And this isn’t a photo op for the President. It is really one for the team. Do you really think that Obama (or any other President who does these things) believes that having the teams at the White House is going to get them any votes? It is just an honor for the TEAM…..which Thomas sadly forgets with his absence.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 12:50 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Libs are all for freedom of Speech & Freedom of expression .......................... UNLESS they disagree with it Then they go Thermo Nuclear

Posted by Evilpens on 01/24/12 at 01:02 PM ET

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This has nothing to do with free speech. Who is denying Thomas that right? He is putting his “convictions” before his team. What does not going to this team event accomplish anyway? Does it change the government? Does it make people say, “Gee, let’s get behind a revolution by Thomas!” What it does is just make Thomas a bit of a polarizing figure. If he wants to make a political difference, then do something constructive on your own rather than destructive to your team.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 01:19 PM ET

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Since when is shaking someone’s an endorsement of everything they stand for?

It’s certainly a tacit approval.  When you see a picture of two people smiling together and shaking hands do you automatically assume they are friends or enemies?

Maybe you think Fred Goldman should shake OJ Simpson’s hand.  It’s not like that would look like Fred Goldman has forgiven OJ for murdering his son, it’s just a nice photo op.  Take one for the team, Freddie, who cares about principles anyhow?

It is just an honor for the TEAM

Apparently it wasn’t an honour for TIM THOMAS though, but I guess that doesn’t matter to anyone.  People should simply abandon their principles in order to make a nice picture.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and that’s all this is about.

Here’s what I don’t get.  It was bad for him not to show up, but it would’ve been fine for him to show up, take the microphone and blast the president?  (referring to the article, not your comment, specifically)

Posted by Garth on 01/24/12 at 01:23 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

LOL how funny that the Boston Globe, a liberal paper would find it “Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league”  No there’s no agenda there.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 09:10 AM ET

Go away.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 01:23 PM ET

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Thomas Exercised his right to not go now he’s being criticized for it. WOW what a shocker. I like how many of you respect and support the reporters stances on this but don’t support Thomas stance.

Posted by Jason on 01/24/12 at 01:48 PM ET

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Garth: You need to stop taking this so seriously. I shake a lot of people’s hands, some I don’t even know very well. It is a sign of mutual human respect. No endorsement of any kind. Do you ask about someone’s political beliefs before you shake their hand?

Like I tell my kids all the time. There are some things you do in life not necessarily because you want to do them but because they are the right things to do. The right thing for Thomas to do was suck it up and go to a team event that in no way is an endorsement for any way of thinking or any person. What he does in his private life…..donating money to political causes, getting involved in local/national politics…..is his own business. He would have a lot greater impact there and wouldn’t have embarrassed his team.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 01:55 PM ET

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So, is it safe to assume that if Thomas wins another between now and 2016 he’ll bow out of those White House ceremonies as well?

Posted by Jesters Dead on 01/24/12 at 01:59 PM ET

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Many are willing to tell Thomas to forget about his convictions and beliefs & just suck it up.  I say, three cheers to Thomas for standing up for his beliefs even though he knew he would be pilloried in the press and media.  He knew it would be rude to go to the WH and try to make a comment about what he thought, as it was a strictly PR event.  He did the right thing by staying away if that is what he believed.  Just because you disagree with his beliefs doesn’t mean that he should be banished to the bench or worse.

Posted by howie young on 01/24/12 at 02:12 PM ET

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Talk like a Tea Bag, look like a Tea Bag, is a Tea Bag. Get your guns(you know he has a couple) form a well regulated militia, hop in the Truck with the confederate plate, turn up the Nudge and take down that Pres eh Timmy!

His statement was right out of the Tea Bag Manual, which I think we can all agree sits on the Far right and would elect any Rep over Obama in a mili sec. So don’t give me this all party crap. He would have gone if McCain was shaking hands.

Would it have been so bad to go with your team, stand at the back and take a damn photo, instead of making some distraction for the team.

Posted by ScottR from Ottawa on 01/24/12 at 02:13 PM ET

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ScottR from Ottawa : You sound like a typical Libtard!!!! Teabag this and that. I love how the liberals sell themselves as intellects, but spew ignorance at the drop of a hat when someone has an opposing view in this case being the “Tea Party”. Oh by the way “ScottR from Ottawa” Why don’t you keep your nose out of US politics and worry about Canada the land of Libtaria!!!

Posted by Jason on 01/24/12 at 02:25 PM ET

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Jason: God forbid that anyone has an opposing view! Isn’t that what this is all about? People thinking their view is right when it isn’t even about anyone’s “view” to begin with. It’s about team and sports. Your views (and those of ScottR on the other side) are exactly why this should have been a nonpolitical event….until Thomas decided to make it one.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 02:31 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I see we’ve got some proud graduates of the AM Radio PhD Program in this thread.

Anyway, if Thomas wants to skip it because he doesn’t want to betray his principles, that’s certainly his right.

I think it’s silly to not attend a ceremony where your country is honoring you and your team, but whatever. Some people let politics dominate their lives. If anything, people like this are to be pitied, not respected or hated.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/24/12 at 02:31 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Country is not Honoring Them ! FFS it’s a Photo OP

Posted by Evilpens on 01/24/12 at 02:45 PM ET

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So.
Did any of the people bashing him for being anti-obama/anti-liberal/tea bag actually read his statement?

He disagrees with the entire government. With both parties. With tax and spend, regardless of which side is doing it.

He did what he thought was right.

Apparently just about everyone on here is completely willing to sell out their beliefs and values.


And VA hockey fan. The point of GOING TO THE WHITEHOUSE to MEET THE PRESIDENT… I can’t see how it gets much more’political’ than that.  It’s the POTUS. He’s a political creature by definition. There is no way for it to not be political. If the person was not political, said person would not be POTUS.
Thomas did not pick a side of the politics and said he disagreed with all three branches and both parties.

I’m not sorry if he hurt people’s feelings by making a small protest against the size the US government has gotten and if it happened to be a democrat in office when the team he was on won the cup. People need to grow up and learn to think.

Posted by teldar on 01/24/12 at 02:58 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I see we’ve got some proud graduates of the AM Radio PhD Program in this thread.


This.

Posted by calquake on 01/24/12 at 02:58 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’ve always liked Thomas as a hockey player. Now I have an even greater respect for him as a person. His statement makes it perfectly clear this wasn’t about Obama personally. It was a comment on the direction of all parties and all branches of the government.

Kudos to him for standing up for what he believes in.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/24/12 at 03:03 PM ET

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Should have added

Mandingo

I don’t think people who are actually willing to base their actions on their principle should be pitied.
And if you don’t think politics dominate your life…
I don’t know. I think about taxes and whether or not I’ll be able to retire. I think about my mortgage and my daughter’s education. If you don’t think any of that is impacted by the actions of our government here, I don’t know what to tell you.

Posted by teldar on 01/24/12 at 03:10 PM ET

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People….this is about HOCKEY and sports! What happened to the idea that sports are a way to escape from the everyday drudgery of our lives, including politics? You are taking this way too seriously. Take a chill pill and get some fresh air.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 03:15 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

ScottR from Ottawa : You sound like a typical Libtard!!!! Teabag this and that. I love how the liberals sell themselves as intellects, but spew ignorance at the drop of a hat when someone has an opposing view in this case being the “Tea Party”. Oh by the way “ScottR from Ottawa” Why don’t you keep your nose out of US politics and worry about Canada the land of Libtaria!!!

Posted by Jason on 01/24/12 at 11:25 AM ET

Please go away as well.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 03:15 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I see we’ve got some proud graduates of the AM Radio PhD Program in this thread.


This.

Posted by calquake on 01/24/12 at 11:58 AM ET

Ditto.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 03:17 PM ET

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That’s the thing, the liberal media, which is the majority with the exception of Fox news or to liberals “Faux news”  had no problem when the NY Yankee’s denied going to a photo op with Bush. That was fine.

Thomas has issue with government on the whole being too big, that covers both sides of the isle. But liberals need to twist it to be about that he (Thomas) didn’t man up and shake Obama’s hand at a pointless photo op.

@Bezukov Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing is it not? I respect Paul’s wishes to try and stay non political so I will refrain from getting into it with you again. I just despise the left and everything they stand for, I’m not afraid to say so.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 03:21 PM ET

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Realmk: I will tell you, as an independent, I am insulted by anyone who would refuse to go to these team celebratory functions because of their own political reasons. It definitely goes both ways. You are the one making this political.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/24/12 at 03:31 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

@Bezukov Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing is it not? I respect Paul’s wishes to try and stay non political so I will refrain from getting into it with you again. I just despise the left and everything they stand for, I’m not afraid to say so.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 12:21 PM ET

Thats nice.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 03:31 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

That’s the thing, the liberal media, which is the majority with the exception of Fox news or to liberals “Faux news”  had no problem when the NY Yankee’s denied going to a photo op with Bush. That was fine.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/24/12 at 12:21 PM ET

I don’t remember any of the Yankees refusing to go to the White House ceremony under Bush. I could be wrong, but do you have a link?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/24/12 at 03:38 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I see we’ve got some proud graduates of the AM Radio PhD Program in this thread.

Nailed it!

Making blanket statements about collective groups is pretty much always a bad idea. Anyone who uses terms like “libs” “libtards” and blames “the liberal media” (which is almost entirely owned by large multinational media enterprises) has little to no credibility, or they’d engage in a much more constructive critique than building straw men to dismiss. Tim Thomas embraces the Glenn Beck worldview. Fine. I would not group him with the people screaming “Get your government hands off my medicare.” That’s guilt by association and it isn’t fair. Yet criticizing Thomas’ selfish actions (putting his politics above his team) somehow automatically makes someone a “libtard” on here? I’d say stick to what you know, but given what some of these people type on this forum, I can’t say they know hockey any better than they understand basic elementary social studies. 

I’m anxiously awaiting the ability to block users. This Thomas affair has only made it that much more obvious that there are people I would be better off never hearing from. I don’t think EvilPens has ever written anything worth reading. I can block TPSH from showing in my feed. I wish I could block users, too.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/24/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I’d rather be pilloried by the press, and by joe shmoe on the internet any day than do something that violates my personal convictions.  Thomas was respectful in his declination, as well as with his statement.  He respectfully informed his team and management of his choice months ago.

Those of you saying that meeting the leader of a country is not political are, in my opinion, naive.  Those of you saying that “the country” was honoring the Bruins and Thomas are also naive, again, in my opinion.  This is President Obama following in the footsteps of prior presidents in a publicity stunt.  It’s like when politicians kiss babies during election campaigns.  It has absolutely nothing to do with “the country” honoring a sport team, and everything to do with making nice for the cameras.  It’s a feel-good story to take the spotlight off of all the political turmoil. 

Tim Thomas exercised his political and individual right to decline to “play nice” with someone whose fundamental beliefs and actions in office are diametrically opposed to his own.  I cannot, and will not fault him for that.  In fact, I applaud him, and his courage to do what so many other will not do.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/24/12 at 03:53 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I’m anxiously awaiting the ability to block users. This Thomas affair has only made it that much more obvious that there are people I would be better off never hearing from. I don’t think EvilPens has ever written anything worth reading. I can block TPSH from showing in my feed. I wish I could block users, too.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/24/12 at 12:48 PM ET

But you’d miss all of the enlightening repartee.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 03:55 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

+1 for Tim Thomas.

Thomas wasn’t the first to snub the White House or Obama.

Remember when some NASCAR drivers opted out?

And “Danimal” of the NFL did too.


Maybe Thomas didn’t want to “occupy” the White House.

Posted by TheFreak on 01/24/12 at 04:00 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

@Forlorn - if he refused to stand for the star spangled banner as well, I’d applaud him too. It’s not a visit to the Obama compound, it’s a TEAM visit to the White House. The office is symbolic, as is the song before the game.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/24/12 at 04:15 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

“His statement makes it perfectly clear this wasn’t about Obama personally. It was a comment on the direction of all parties and all branches of the government.”

This is extremely obvious.  It is amazing how people need to cram this into either the right or left shoebox. 
Note to Americans:  Your entire political discourse is a bullshit spin game of putting words into each other mouths.

Exactly how many of you are going to say “I agree with the right to not go, but you should NEVER exercise your right….”?
Because that is not logically consistent….........perhaps I had better not try to explain.
To rephrase, how many ways are you going to make exceptions to free choice?
I guess this is the result of constantly being hammered by such logical phrases as “freedom isn’t free”.  Not anymore it isn’t.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/24/12 at 04:16 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/24/12 at 01:15 PM ET

My problem with your statement is that “The Office” didn’t extend the invitation, The President did.  The President of the United States of America has real power.  The Star Spangled Banner is something people (attempt to) sing.  The anthem IS symbolic, the President is NOT.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/24/12 at 05:07 PM ET

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VAHockeyFan: Calling someone a teabagger isn’t having a opposing view. It’s a derogatory comment meant to minimalize the tea party movement by liberals. No more no less.

Posted by Jason on 01/24/12 at 05:12 PM ET

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bezukov: What union are you a member of??

Posted by Jason on 01/24/12 at 05:13 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

This is getting way off from the point, but,
Jason….....do you think minimum wage was a voluntary concession by employers, or a concession negotiated with organized labour?
I’ll give you a hint (you’re an idiot…..).

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/24/12 at 05:17 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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