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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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calquake's avatar

After reading all the comments and giving it the amount of thought it deserves, all I can say is WHO CARES!  I don’t look to atheletes for my political beliefs just like I don’t look to actors for how to vote.  But hey… let’s make much ado aboot nothing.

Posted by calquake on 01/23/12 at 07:19 PM ET

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Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/23/12 at 04:16 PM ET

Well put.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 07:22 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Several outlets have reported that this was indeed a political statement. He informed Peter Chiarelli months ago that he would not attend.

Big fuching deal.  I have no issue with this as I would have had no issue with a hockey player skipping out on meeting the last president.

In more important news, the spine specialist that Crosby is seeing still has yet to find his spine.

Wooooooooooo!

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 01/23/12 at 07:24 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Chill out Garth. Just like Thomas, and, everyone else here, I am entitled to my opinion.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/23/12 at 07:29 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

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”.

How would attending a perfunctory ceremony that means nothing betray his beliefs exactly?  Either the meeting has meaning or it doesn’t.  If it does, then I can see where someone might (misguided and sad as it is) feel like attending would be a betrayl of their “beliefs” (whatever those might be).  If it doesn’t have meaning, then what’s the point of not going and thus GIVING it meaning?

Whatever.

I guess we’re just lucky that someone from the Bruins didn’t run Obama from behind or go for his knees during the speech.

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 07:31 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

We need to separate politics and sports. It bugs me when nationalist sentiment is ever-present at sporting events, and it bothers me that ALL presidents feel the need to have receptions for athletes. Until this stops, however, it should be consistent. If the NHL is going to have the militarism and the national anthems before the games, go the full 9 Timmy. There’s not much difference in visiting the White House and singing the anthem. Both represent the symbols of nation. Neither have anything to do with hockey, but be consistent.

It also bugs me to read other hockey fans’ political points of view, as I’m sure mine do them.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/23/12 at 07:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas'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 04:16 PM ET

Thank you!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 07:34 PM ET

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Garth and J.J., thanks for reading my point of view. I’m not comparing playing hockey with serving in the military or failing to attend a photo op with the president with dereliction of duty. Instead I’m pointing out that most people can distinguish between respect for the position of Commander in Chief or the office of the presidency and respect or fondness for the person who currently occupies that role.

One should be able to respect the presidency without endorsing any particular president.

The fact that many people today cannot disentangle the person from the office is, I think, a symptom of our hypercharged political discourse, in which very few people can work with or even have productive discussions with people with whom they disagree.

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 07:37 PM ET

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How would attending a perfunctory ceremony that means nothing betray his beliefs exactly?

The fact that it’s a hockey teams means nothing.

The fact that it’s a meeting with the president, whose policies Thomas presumably doesn’t agree with, means something.

If it doesn’t have meaning, then what’s the point of not going and thus GIVING it meaning?

Well gee, maybe that’s EXACTLY the point.  To make a political point about a meeting with a political leader that people are pretending is apolitical.

Chill out Garth.

Excuse me?  You get to decide for Tim Thomas what is and isn’t political, and you also get to decide if people are allowed to disagree with you?

misguided and sad as it is

Wow, it’s misguided and sad to not want to meet someone you don’t agree with or respect, just so that he can have a picture with a championship team?

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 07:44 PM ET

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you salute the rank, not the man… i dont like Harper but he is PM and if i met him i’d still shake his hand… then proceed to purell it lol..

Posted by kenora_guy from Kenora, ON on 01/23/12 at 07:47 PM ET

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Instead I’m pointing out that most people can distinguish between respect for the position of Commander in Chief or the office of the presidency and respect or fondness for the person who currently occupies that role.

Fair enough.

I just don’t think it’s disrespectful for a guy to quietly decline an invitation.  I think Thomas could’ve easily gone the route of coming out publicly, before the ceremony, and saying that he wouldn’t spit in Obama’s face if his eyebrows were on fire, but he didn’t.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 07:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 04:37 PM ET .

I appreciate the good tone of the entire comment. 

As I said earlier, I feel that you can respectfully decline an offer from the president as a US Citizen without being disrespectful to the office.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 07:49 PM ET

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i dont like Harper but he is PM and if i met him i’d still shake his hand…

Well you and I differ there.  I absolutely wouldn’t shake his hand.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 07:50 PM ET

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As I said earlier, I feel that you can respectfully decline an offer from the president as a US Citizen without being disrespectful to the office.

Well put.  I think the fact that he did it quietly and without incident was being very respectful to both the man and the office.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 07:51 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

you salute the rank, not the man

True.

No citizen of this country is OBLIGED to meet the president, or accept an invitation to the White House.

More true.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 01/23/12 at 07:51 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

What I find perplexing is why no player ever dissed Bush when he was pretending to be president for 8 years. That guy royally screwed up this country. Obama’s not the best, but nowhere near as bad as W was.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 01/23/12 at 07:54 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

and you also get to decide if people are allowed to disagree with you?

Never said that. I said I was entitled to my opinion. Everyone is certainly free to disagree with any comment I make.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/23/12 at 07:54 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

From WIkipedia:

Thomas is a Republican and has stated that the person he would most like to have dinner with is conservative TV pundit Glenn Beck

I think that clears things up.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/23/12 at 07:55 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

This debate got me thinking: Maybe the teams that win the cup don’t have a “stanley cup hangover” the next year. Maybe what actually happens to them is the incompetence from the White House rubs off on them. Think about it, the cup hangovers are a modern NHL phenomenon, right in line with the Bush/Obama administrations. The Madden Curse ain’t got nothin’ on the havoc the White House visit has caused SC champions…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 01/23/12 at 07:56 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

What kind of sullied this whole thing is how Thomas said he’s going to Tweet about it later tonight? Seriously? Tweet it?

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 01/23/12 at 07:56 PM ET

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Garth—I guess we’ll see how quiet he is when we see the soon-to-be-released facebook statement that Chia promised!

But seriously, I’m not sure it’s possible to “quietly decline” an invitation from the president. That’s as public as it gets. Maybe it’s not fair, but I suppose that being so successful at your career that you receive the invitation isn’t a bad problem to have.

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 07:57 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

What I find perplexing is why no player ever dissed Bush when he was pretending to be president for 8 years. That guy royally screwed up this country. Obama’s not the best, but nowhere near as bad as W was.
Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 01/23/12 at 04:54 PM ET

Like when Yzerman went as the only teammember in ALL BLACK funeral attire?

Love’d that too.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/23/12 at 08:00 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

It’s kind of silly that this photo op even happens. Have there been any presidents that are hockey fans? Obama’s probably like, “who are these guys? what sport?”

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 01/23/12 at 08:00 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

God bless Tim Thomas, my new hero!

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/23/12 at 08:08 PM ET

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I hate when sports and politics mix. Admittedly, part of that is because I’m a liberal and most athletes and sports fans ... aren’t. But mostly, it’s because we like to think of our athletes as apolitical heroes. It doesn’t matter who you voted for—our passion for our favorite teams and players is one of the few things left that still unites us and doesn’t divide sharply on partisan lines. I’m sure there are more than a few of my message board friends out there who I would never, ever, ever be able to get along with in real life—but when we’re talking Red Wings hockey, none of that matters. We’re all together.

I’m not saying Thomas shouldn’t stand up for what he believes—that’s his right. I’m just saying it’s a little sad when sports become overly politicized.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 01/23/12 at 08:11 PM ET

Denver Wings's avatar

From WIkipedia:
Thomas is a Republican and has stated that the person he would most like to have dinner with is conservative TV pundit Glenn Beck
I think that clears things up.

Posted by Denver Wings on 01/23/12 at 08:13 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I’m a liberal and most athletes and sports fans ... aren’t.

Can that statement in any way, shape, or form be backed up??

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/23/12 at 08:14 PM ET

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@Ajax Do you want to know what is really disrespectful? Obama pissing all over the Constitution over and over and over and over again. You want to know what else is disrespectful? Obama going on an apologize for America tour like he did to his socialistic buddies in the UN and kowtowing to the UN every chance he gets.

I don’t blame Thomas for not going, I wouldn’t want to shake his hand either at a pointless photo op for a sport the Obmessiah couldn’t care less about.

I never thought we’d elect a worst President in the US than Jimmy Carter. And then we went and did it anyway. Sad. really sad.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 08:14 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

  From WIkipedia:...
 
Posted by Denver Wings on 01/23/12 at 05:13 PM ET

You lose smile

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/23/12 at 08:14 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/23/12 at 05:14 PM ET

http://nmrpp.com/assets/NMRPPsportspolitics.pdf

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 01/23/12 at 08:22 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

I’d like to buy Mr. Thomas a beer.

Bravo.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 01/23/12 at 08:23 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

@Realmk from Boston.  Heh!  All righty then!  Too many folks are waaaay too blinded by their own political views to think clearly here.  Such is the way of the current political climate of this country.  It’s pretty sad.

With that said…  I’m outta here! 

Ajax19 don’t get involved in politcal discussions on the internet.  He’s too old and has been around too long to delve into such nonsense.  It never goes anywhere and just makes people more angry and gets them more dug in.  Totally fruitless and a complete waste of time.

Go Wings!  Beat the Blues!  Let’s try to do it without giving the other team at least one point for a change!

Posted by Ajax19 on 01/23/12 at 08:24 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

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

Being American used to have something to do with thinking for youself.  Now apparently it means being a Abu Ghraib lovin frightened obediant robot.

This just in: Free thought is an American value.

This also just in: Your country isn’t free you lot of crying fascists.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:26 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 01/23/12 at 05:22 PM ET

There is a big difference between “most” and “skews”.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/23/12 at 08:26 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

When the Fuhrer invites you, you say yes.

Who ever said it was a free country.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:28 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

@Ajax Do you want to know what is really disrespectful? Obama pissing all over the Constitution over and over and over and over again. You want to know what else is disrespectful? Obama going on an apologize for America tour like he did to his socialistic buddies in the UN and kowtowing to the UN every chance he gets.

I don’t blame Thomas for not going, I wouldn’t want to shake his hand either at a pointless photo op for a sport the Obmessiah couldn’t care less about.

I never thought we’d elect a worst President in the US than Jimmy Carter. And then we went and did it anyway. Sad. really sad.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 05:14 PM ET


Ask your doctor to check for any rectal obstructions, you seem a little constipated…

I don’t understand how conservatives can spend so many years fetishizing the Constitution and the office of the Presidency (especially the Reagan years), call Democrats un-American for criticizing Bush (which is hilariously antithetical to the idea of being American), and then declare no holds barred against Obama when the voters kicked them out of the driver’s seat.

Just goes to show that when you believe in nothing substantive, your beliefs don’t need substance.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 08:29 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Great point Bezukov.
No one has a clue what a democratic tradition actually means.
Those who label dissent unamerican are true-blue fascists.
There is no right or left in America, only one giant imperial war and torture machine.
As Bush put it, “you’re with us or against us”.
Uh-oh.  Better not be un-American, or I’ll get shipped to Guantanamo for thought crimes.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:32 PM ET

Paul's avatar

I sure don’t want this to turn into a political debate folks.  Next thing I will have someone from Fox calling me to debate the issue.

Try to remember this is a hockey site and we should be looking at this from that viewpoint.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/23/12 at 08:32 PM ET

Avatar

Unconstitutional healthcare bill? Check,  Refuse to make spending cuts and get the US credit rating bumped down for refusing to work with the GOP like he promised so many times during his campaign? Check.
Defy Congress with recess picks when they weren’t in a recess? Unconstitutional.
Should I keep going?

That’s what you liberals do however when you can’t debate facts, you run away or play the race card.  Happy trails hippy.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 08:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t understand how conservatives can spend so many years fetishizing the Constitution and the office of the Presidency (especially the Reagan years), call Democrats un-American for criticizing Bush (which is hilariously antithetical to the idea of being American), and then declare no holds barred against Obama when the voters kicked them out of the driver’s seat.

So you don’t understand how two-party politics work then?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 08:33 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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