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Tim Thomas Does Not Attend White House Ceremony

via Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,

Tim Thomas, one of two Americans on the roster, chose not to attend today’s ceremony at the White House, according to GM Peter Chiarelli.

“We’re like a family. We have our issues,” Chiarelli answered when asked if Thomas’s decision overshadowed the visit. “You deal with them, move on, and try and support everyone. It may or may not. If it does, I hope it doesn’t. The guys seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed it.”

All other players were in attendance. Chiarelli said attendance today was not mandatory. Steven Kampfer is the other American player.

“I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don’t, I can suspend him,” Chiarelli said. “I’m not suspending Tim. Whatever his position is, it isn’t reflective of the Boston Bruins nor my own. But I’m not suspending him.”

added 6:15pm, Tim Thomas releases a statement via Facebook, read it below…

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

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

Comments

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HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I love Timmy Thomas

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/23/12 at 05:11 PM ET

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Tim Thomas just became my second favorite goalie.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/23/12 at 05:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Hmmm.  Not only am I surprised to see this about Thomas, I’m surprised ya’ll aren’t ripping him to shreds for it.

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 05:17 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

If Thomas didn’t attend the White House ceremony because of “political” differences with the current president, I find it pretty sad, pathetic and embarassing.

It’s a disrespect to the office of the Presidency, which is a disrespect to the country.  Even you hate the current president, you have to respect the Presidency and accept the invite.  This is a congratulatory tradition that has been done for decades in all sports and has nothing to do with politics. 

Thomas is being selfish and disrespectful. His actions are taking away from the rest of the team being recognized.  Winning teams always visit the White House; it doesn’t imply political endorsement in any way.


You’re better than that, Tim Thomas.  You’re better than that…

I do really hope it wasn’t because of politics.  I really, really do.  I’m a big fan of Tim Thomas and will be less so if this is the case.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 05:21 PM ET

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If I was in his position, I’d do the exact same thing.  Here’s a guy Obama bashes as the 1 percent, yet he’s earned everything he’s gotten.  Why wouldn’t he be offended?

Posted by Mike Adams from Madison, WI on 01/23/12 at 05:21 PM ET

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Why does Tim Thomas hate America?

Posted by BackScatter25 on 01/23/12 at 05:23 PM ET

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Even you hate the current president, you have to respect the Presidency and accept the invite.

Why?

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 05:25 PM ET

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I find it disrespectful and un-American. He can make his own choices, of course, but that’s pretty juvenile.

Posted by B dog on 01/23/12 at 05:27 PM ET

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Agree with Ajax19. Regardless of feelings toward the politics of the president, if the president invites you to his home, you go. Very disrespectful, but not surprising given the past political statements TimTom has made.

Posted by penguinsfan on 01/23/12 at 05:27 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Why?

If I have to try and explain it to you, then you wont understand.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 05:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I have no horse in this race, but…  I will say I am a bit confused as to what it is that pro athletes are trying to accomplish by not showing to the White House for these events.

If it’s a pure political protest, it doesn’t entirely make sense to me because it’s a protest that is largely meaningless and that very few if any will ever care about.  Nor is it likely the sitting President who is being protested will care, because it’s unlikely the President even knows who said player is, or cares.

Why pick now to make the statement?  Why not sooner, or at an earlier opportunity?

I appreciate the idea I guess, I just don’t get the execution.

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 05:32 PM ET

CMo44's avatar

Don’t mix sports and politics.  You’re not Muhammad Ali. The Office of the President is honoring your team, as they do for every major sports champion, regardless of the politics of the President.  Go take a tour of the White House and smile when the President is congratulating you for your achievements.  Stop being petty.  You’ve lost my respect, Mr. Thomas.

Posted by CMo44 on 01/23/12 at 05:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I remember when being disingenuous was disrespectful.

Apparently, there isn’t a way to respectfully decline things anymore.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 05:33 PM ET

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Of course, gathering in a bunch of different cities and costing taxpayers millions in cleanup is, like, totally not being disrespectful to other people.  But not showing up to a White House invite?  Oh, the NERVE.

Get a grip, people.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/23/12 at 05:34 PM ET

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Look, he can think whatever he likes about Obama’s virtues as a president, but I can likewise think that Thomas is symptomatic of a disfunctional political culture in which people believe (or pretend to belive) that their political opponents are somehow beyond the pale. Unless there is a clear and specific cause for action—refusing to shake the hand of Gerry Adams as a figure in the Northern Irish government because of his refusal to apologize for violent IRA activity, for example—I think this is political grandstanding. It wasn’t Democratic candidate Obama who invited him; it was the president of all of us. Does Thomas think that members of the military should stop saluting the Commander in Chief if they disagree with his policy decisions?

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 05:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I do really hope it wasn’t because of politics.  I really, really do.  I’m a big fan of Tim Thomas and will be less so if this is the case.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 03:21 PM ET

So it’s not OK for Thomas to protest for political reasons and differences… but is for you to dislike him and hold it against him then for the same?

You do see the ridiculousness of that, right?

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 05:36 PM ET

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Regardless of feelings toward the politics of the president, if the president invites you to his home, you go.

Why are you pretending this is anything more than just a photo op?

If I have to try and explain it to you, then you wont understand.

You’re right, I won’t.  It’s a stupid, perfunctory ceremony that means NOTHING because the President isn’t even a hockey fan.  How disrespectful is THAT, pretending that you give a flying shit about hockey just so you can have a photo op with someone who won something you don’t care about?

I love how you asses think that a guy should betray his beliefs and go to some asinine ceremony as if it means something to anyone involved.

As the article states, there are TWO Americans on the f*cking roster, meaning that this whole meeting-the-President thing is relevant to less than 10% of the roster, but according to you guys that 10% shouldn’t be allowed to express their beliefs.

And f*ck, it isn’t as if Tim Thomas came out and made some sort of statement about why he wasn’t going, he just quietly and respectfully told the management that he didn’t want to go.

You whiners need to grow up.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 05:37 PM ET

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You’ve lost my respect, Mr. Thomas.

I’m sure Mr Thomas is broken up about someone who doesn’t respect him for standing up for what he believes.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 05:40 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 03:36 PM ET

Pretty bang-on.  It’s how people refer to “Bush” and “Obama” instead of “President Bush” or “President Obama”.  The Presidency gets no respect anymore.

And yet, the President (the position) is in fact partially to blame for that I guess, going back decades… they’ve also eroded it themselves I guess.

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 05:40 PM ET

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Thomas gets a big Boo. It is disrespectful to the office. Too bad Thomas’ personal politics gets in the way of his team getting the respect from the country’s highest office. No wonder Thomas hides from his fans just like he does in his credit card commercial. Will boo him next time he comes to town.

Posted by Bo from FL. on 01/23/12 at 05:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Does Thomas think that members of the military should stop saluting the Commander in Chief if they disagree with his policy decisions?

I doubt Tim Thomas would support actual dereliction of duty.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 05:41 PM ET

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Too bad Thomas’ personal politics gets in the way of his team getting the respect from the country’s highest office.

What?

What does one thing have to do with the other?  He didn’t stop the team from getting anything.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 05:42 PM ET

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The things that pass for “stories” these days…

Ugh, who really cares about your politics, Mr. Thomas.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 01/23/12 at 05:45 PM ET

Primis's avatar

You’re right, I won’t.  It’s a stupid, perfunctory ceremony that means NOTHING because the President isn’t even a hockey fan.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 03:37 PM ET

And that’s not to say Bush or Clinton were…

The entire ceremony is a waste of time and money.

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 05:45 PM ET

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Posted by Mike Adams from Madison, WI on 01/23/12 at 03:21 PM ET

Yeah, Thomas isn’t in the 1%, hate to inform you of that. He may be a millionaire, and so are most celebrities, but most aren’t in the 1% either. Every hear the saying “athletes are rich, but owners are wealthy”?

And being that Thomas is a “hard worker” he would probably respect the blue collar man, so he likely wouldn’t be offended by any of Obama’s “1% beliefs”

Posted by pstumba on 01/23/12 at 05:48 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

I really hope that, especially being an American, Thomas can openly acknowledge why he didn’t attend. He has always seemed to be a classy, responsible guy and “do the right thing,” so to not attend to somehow make a “political statement” seems to be a bit ridiculous.

That being said… I absolutely despised President Bush, but if I received an invite to check out the White House, especially if it was in honor of what my TEAM accomplished, I would have no reason to say no.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 01/23/12 at 05:48 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Then again, maybe this isn’t political at all and Timmy Thomas is still trapped in that cab with that psycho-fan cab driver lady, while he waits for “Peggy” to work out his credit card issue.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 05:48 PM ET

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The entire ceremony is a waste of time and money.

Absolutely.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 05:51 PM ET

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Yeah, Thomas isn’t in the 1%, hate to inform you of that. He may be a millionaire, and so are most celebrities, but most aren’t in the 1% either. Every hear the saying “athletes are rich, but owners are wealthy”?

Posted by pstumba on 01/23/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Hate to break it to you, but anyone making over $500k is indeed in the top 1%, and that’s using the most conservative of estimates.  The more widely-regarded estimates put it more around $380k per year as the “top 1 percent” tier.

The income gap really is that gigantic.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 01/23/12 at 05:54 PM ET

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Who even said this was political? Could be family issues or anything mildly more important. Even still, who cares? It’s an optional team event, he passed on it. Moving on….

Posted by Mattimeo on 01/23/12 at 05:55 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

It’s a stupid, perfunctory ceremony that means NOTHING because the President isn’t even a hockey fan.

I love how you asses think that a guy should betray his beliefs and go to some asinine ceremony as if it means something to anyone involved.

So, wait…  Is this a:

(A) “a stupid, perfunctory ceremony that means NOTHING because the President isn’t even a hockey fan”; or

(B) such an important ceremony that it’s a platform for someone to “stand[] up for what he believes” and so meaningful that by even attending it would force a man to “betray his beliefs”?

How can it be both?

I’m sure Mr Thomas is thrilled up about someone who respects him for “standing up for what he believes” by skipping an “asinine .. stupid, perfunctory ceremony that means NOTHING.”

True American heroes!

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 05:58 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

I know why he wasn’t there.

He was too busy rifling through the desk drawers in the Oval Office looking for Obama’s birth certificate.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 01/23/12 at 05:59 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Echoing Mattimeo’s comments, I’m really just hoping he just wanted to spend time with family or something of the nature. But even so, an American athlete blowing off a Presidential invite for his team’s recognition seems pretty shitty…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 01/23/12 at 06:02 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Then again, maybe this isn’t political at all and Timmy Thomas is still trapped in that cab with that psycho-fan cab driver lady, while he waits for “Peggy” to work out his credit card issue.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Not just any cab, but a “Boston Cab”... Boston people must HATE that commercial…

WIIM Twitter said he wasn’t there because he overslept:  He was still on Boston Time.

*notmyrimshot*

Posted by Primis on 01/23/12 at 06:04 PM ET

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How can it be both?

Because it’s such a perfunctory ceremony that means nothing, so he doesn’t feel the need to betray his beliefs and go to it in order to not “disrespect the office”.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 06:07 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I don’t know what Timmy’s reason were for skipping, but if they were indeed political, I think thats pretty catty, no matter who is President.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 06:09 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I think this is political grandstanding. It wasn’t Democratic candidate Obama who invited him; it was the president of all of us. Does Thomas think that members of the military should stop saluting the Commander in Chief if they disagree with his policy decisions?

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 03:36 PM ET

This comment is sensible and pretty much says it all. This is an apolitical event.

Classless move by Thomas IMO.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/23/12 at 06:09 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

being rebelious is pretty American, I dig it.  Courage of conviction, I dig it.  Being your own man instead of worrying about making a bunch of nameless people happy, I dig it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/23/12 at 06:15 PM ET

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This is an apolitical event.

To you, maybe, but why are you allowed to decide whether or not Tim Thomas sees it as political or apolitical?

Does Thomas think that members of the military should stop saluting the Commander in Chief if they disagree with his policy decisions?

Wow, so you’re comparing playing hockey in the NHL to signing up to serve your country?

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 06:15 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Politely declining an invitation is not disrespectful.  No citizen of this country is OBLIGED to meet the president, or accept an invitation to the White House. 

If Thomas makes a statement along the lines of “I hate Democrats, and I’d rather spit in his face than shake his hand” THAT would be disrespectful.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/23/12 at 06:16 PM ET

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