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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

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bezukov's avatar

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

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

Touche’.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 07:35 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Ah yes, the two-party system.  Also known as the perfect illusion of choice while everyone gets boned by the same handful of dudes, all the time.  Basically the perfect way to keep any of you from having your say.

Which, if you are a fireman-worshipping, Abu Ghraib lovin, hippy-hating, god fearing, etc. (well you get the idea), is not such a bad thing right?  Hoo-rah.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 07:42 PM ET

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I thought Americans were taught to respect the President regardless of party, you know The Commander and Chief.

That pretty sad. Not sure what Obama has done to deserve such disrespect?
Its not like he took the country to war for 10 yrs over nothing?? Oh thats right, trying to give health care to the poor, prevent corruption on Wallstreet through regulation, tax the super rich 3% more, oh dear what a monster.

Remeber when the Dixie chicks made the Bush comment and all the hick republicans got all pissed because she disrespected the Pres.
All you guys who love Tim for his no show, were probably pissed at the Dixies. Smile, your a Tea Bagging Birth Certificate Loser.

Posted by RyanS from Calgary, AB on 01/23/12 at 07:43 PM ET

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Disrespect…...you wanna talk about disrespect.When Obama didnt salute that flag to the country he wanted to be president of.THAT is disrepect.

I think it’s GREAT he took a stand and didnt go. Love ya more Tim

Posted by Bruins Fan on 01/23/12 at 07:47 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Freedom of speech. I love it!  And, I do respect all opinions expressed here.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/23/12 at 07:49 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

“I thought Americans were taught to respect the President regardless of party, you know The Commander and Chief.”

Oh yeah….Americans have been taught to obey and respect, regardless of personal feelings.  Oh wait, that’s the Nazis. 
Is it you lot too now?  I guess that’s the debate you can have.  Wait, is debate still allowed, or just in free-speech zones? 
You all think you’re on opposite sides, but you are all on the side of unconditionally supporting the state as it strips you of your freedoms, left and right being exactly the same in this.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 07:50 PM ET

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I’ll add, I can’t stand our Prime Minister, don’t agree with his polictics at all, but last year I was at a function and I shook his hand, because in the end he is the leader of our country and my fellow CDNs voted his party in, so I respect that and honor the position.

Of course we don’t seem to hate people who have different polictical thoughts like you do down there.

Posted by RyanS from Calgary on 01/23/12 at 07:55 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

No one has a clue what a democratic tradition actually means.

America was founded as a Constitutional Republic. Not a Democracy.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/23/12 at 07:57 PM ET

Avatar

This notion that Thomas was being unamerican by declining this honor is risible. The head of state, or even the office of the head of state is NEVER synonymous with the country itself. It would be nice if more people remembered that. Timmah not liking the President says nothing about his Americanness.

Having said that, if I’m a Bruin PLAYER, there’s a high likelihood I’m pissed, Conn Smythe or not. If Thomas doesn’t want to shake the President’s hand over whatever it is he doesn’t like, there would have been easier ways to go about it that doesn’t create a distracting story that his teammates will have to answer uncomfortable questions about.

Basically, his need to make a statement represents Thomas putting his politics ahead of the team. As a spectator, I don’t care. If I was a player, especially a veteran, I would be irate.

Posted by Larry from pitt on 01/23/12 at 08:05 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Larry from pitt on 01/23/12 at 06:05 PM ET

I think you’re the first person to make this point.  And I agree with you.

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

Paul's avatar

Added Tim Thomas statement to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/23/12 at 08:16 PM ET

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Wow….this sounds like an echo chamber of all the ugly political debate we have today in the USA. I teach my kids that they need to be informed citizens, come up with their own opinions but ensure that they are well thought out (even if they are different than mine), and respect the opinions of others.  Not showing up today is disrespectful. I absolutely agree that Thomas has every right to think however he thinks, but I also believe that letting his political beliefs get in the way of respecting another human being, especially one who represents the office of the President, is wrong. I don’t care if this was just some prefunctory celebration. It is the wrong message to send to others. You disrespect the presidency, you disrespect what the country stands for…..the right to have diverse opinions but still be willling to work together to make the country great. If we can’t be in this together, then we are a failure as a country.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/23/12 at 08:17 PM ET

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After reading Thomas’ statement, I think even less of him than I did before. It is as if he’s saying, you aren’t doing what I want, so I’m taking all my marbles home and not playing with anyone. Maybe he should just find himself some desert island to live on so that he doesn’t have to deal with others who disagree with him. He is the one dragging politics into something that should just be a fun, totally nonpolitical event. Shame on him.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/23/12 at 08:22 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Tim Thomas is a patriot. Period….and if that is considered a political statement we are all in trouble.
God Speed, Mr. Thomas, you’ve made a new friend in me today….and maybe interested me in purchasing a ticket to see you play the next time you come to town.

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/23/12 at 08:25 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Don’t have any problem with Tim Thomas having an opinion.

...but Hockey’s a team sport, and there’s no ‘I(NDIVIDUAL)’ in team.

This might have been a big day for some of his teamates and for his hockey club. He made it about him.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 01/23/12 at 08:25 PM ET

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But seriously, I’m not sure it’s possible to “quietly decline” an invitation from the president.

Oh, “seriously”?

How about the fact that he didn’t bring it up and the team didn’t bring it up and that the subject was broached by the media, to which Chiarelli responded?

Explain please how that is not quietly declining the invitation?

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

What he does later is immaterial.

The fact that he’s responding to people after the fact has no bearing on whether he was quiet before the ceremony and during it.

Maybe he decided that he needed to respond to some of the people on facebook calling him a lunatic and deriding his beliefs, calling him a clown a douche and a “dick splash” and saying he humiliated the city, that he’s a pussy and a redneck and that he’s an embarrassment to his country.

A *#$%@& embarrassment to his country because he didn’t go to a *#$%@& ceremony at the white house.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 08:27 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

In my humble opinion, thats pretty childish.  I’ve been hearing the “back in my day” / “what is this country coming to?” / “moral decay” argument my whole life.  I’m pretty sure the same argument was made when Rome was no longer a kingdom and became a republic, and later an empire.  It turns out that humanity survived.  Spare me the eschatological lecture Tim Thomas.  The slippery slope is a logical fallacy, and I wish more people understood that.

But more than anything else, Tim Thomas always seemed like a bigger person than what he has shown us today.  Disagree if you must (its your prerogative), but I think its poor form.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 08:33 PM ET

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If we can’t be in this together, then we are a failure as a country.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

...but Hockey’s a team sport, and there’s no ‘I(NDIVIDUAL)’ in team.

I will bet money that he’s not boycotting any Boston Bruins games, and last I checked this wasn’t an NHL game being played at the white house but merely a photo op, so that’s a moot point.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 08:34 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I still don’t find it disrespectful, to the president, or to his team mates.  He is one of TWO U.S. citizens on the Boston Bruins.  I find it hard to believe that all those Canadian and European players really care all that much about meeting President Obama.  I also find it hard to believe that the rest of the team was not told months ago that he didn’t plan on going, and why.

Additionally, If I were on a team with someone, I absolutely WOULD NOT want them to do anything that might impugn their integrity.  Tim Thomas clearly felt that it would harm his personal integrity and be hypocritical to attend today’s functions.  I applaud him for doing what his convictions demand of him. 

While I may not agree with him 100%, I admire that he stood up for his beliefs.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/23/12 at 08:35 PM ET

Avatar

but I think its poor form.

Better than he stand up there and disingenuously shake Obama’s hand.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 08:35 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Tim Tim is a millionaire. Obama is one too. So is Tim’s ‘owner’ and friends, and Obamas friends. He could at least exercise a little class courtesy.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/23/12 at 08:39 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

“I absolutely agree that Thomas has every right to think however he thinks”

But you don’t agree that he should do what he wants.  You are all free to think what you want, so long as you shut up and obey.
Just how many of you are going to support the theory of dissent, while condemning its practice?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m pretty sure the same argument was made when Rome was no longer a kingdom and became a republic, and later an empire.  It turns out that humanity survived.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m just picking your statements specifically, but while humanity survived, Rome did not, and the human condition worsened when Rome fell.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 08:41 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

How can anyone disagree with his statement?  It is completely non-partisan and quite accurate.  I hate both sides of the completely phony political debate in America, and I totally agree with him. 
No doubt many will assume he is a bushite, but nothing in his statement suggested that, rather the opposite.
Wow.  I feel grudging respect for a Brute.  What’s next, one of these guys gonna read a book?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:48 PM ET

Avatar

People….It was a congratulatory ceremony! It was also about sports! Thomas was the one who politicized this. After reading all the back and forth political jibberish on this post, I am more convinced than ever that sports and politics should never be mixed.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/23/12 at 08:51 PM ET

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Garth—

I must not be expressing myself very well, since this is the second time I have offended you. Let me say it in a different way:

Tim Thomas may well have declined the invitation in a very discreet way (although I think that Chiarelli announced quite early in the afternoon that the facebook statement would be coming out later, so perhaps it wasn’t written in response to the uncouth language you quote (which, I would like to point out, I have not used)).

However, it seems to me that public notice, attention, and debate was unavoidable once Thomas made the decision to skip the ceremony, no matter how little (or how much) he said himself. Fair or not, people will notice and have an opinion when a public figure does (or fails to do) some action in public.

In that sense, Thomas knew (or at least should have had it pointed out to him by the team) that his actions would not pass by “free from noise and uproar.”

So, yes, I am serious when I say that it might not be possible to “quietly decline” an invitation from the president.

Posted by Ken on 01/23/12 at 08:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Thomas was the one who politicized this.

It’s kind of hard not to politicize meeting with a politician.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 08:53 PM ET

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I’m a Bruins fan and think he’s a great goalie, but it was a douche move on his part.  If i were to win the cup and ‘lil Georgie Bush himself invited my team to the White House, i’d still attend.  It’s not about politics, Tim Thomas, or any individual, it’s about celebrating the accomplishment of the team.  Kind of surprised a hockey player would overlook that.  What’s next, a winning team captain will refuse to be handed the cup from Gary Bettman over a differance of opinion on how the league is ran?

Posted by sean_o_sean on 01/23/12 at 08:55 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Oh you’re all wits you are.  Great stuff.  Maybe we should mix sports and bullshit more often.  I’m havin a blast.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:56 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

@ Sean…. so if Hitler offered you a medal after your great work in the ‘36 Olympics (for wrestling, we’ll say), you’d accept it cause it’s about sports, not politcs, right?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 08:59 PM ET

Avatar

His INDIVIDUAL decision is already affecting his teammates. NHL Live is asking Bergeron about it. No one lives in a vacuum.

Posted by VAHockeyFan on 01/23/12 at 09:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That poor Bergeron being subjected to *gasp* QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA!

I sure hope that he makes it through this ok.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 09:06 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

but I think its poor form.

Better than he stand up there and disingenuously shake Obama’s hand.

Posted by Garth on 01/23/12 at 06:35 PM ET

Attending and presumably shaking hands with Obama at a reception put on in honor of the Bruins does not amount to an endorsement of Obama’s policies.  Obama wasn’t asking for a campaign donation for goodness sake, just an opportunity to say congratulations.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m just picking your statements specifically, but while humanity survived, Rome did not, and the human condition worsened when Rome fell.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/23/12 at 06:41 PM ET

I don’t take offense JJ.  One could argue that “Rome” in a sense continued on under the auspices of the Church… but getting into a semantic argument would only serve to distract from my point.  The point of the analogy was to show that people have been making “the sky is falling” kind of statements for as long as we’ve had language.  Its the logic, not the history that I wanted to convey in the comment.  Sure Rome is gone, but civilization survived.  I’m not calling anyone a fascist here, but over the last century fascist regimes used this same sort of “end times” imagery (in reference to their nations and cultures) to make their points.  I just find that tone abhorrent when its used in political discourse, because its a meaningless ploy.  I hope that clears up what I was trying to say.

If Thomas really does think that way (w/o all the baggage I just referenced), I suggest he should take some logic and rhetoric courses over the offseason.  If Tim Thomas wanted to go on CNN tonight and offer some thoughtful commentary on the path of American politics, that would be a different matter.  However, snubbing the President and citing the “America is tumbling down the mountainside” argument just doesn’t draw water with me.  I think Thomas’ non-partisan tack in his comments stinks of partisan cheekiness.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 09:20 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

@ Sean…. so if Hitler offered you a medal after your great work in the ‘36 Olympics (for wrestling, we’ll say), you’d accept it cause it’s about sports, not politcs, right?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/23/12 at 06:59 PM ET


Tuxedo, with all respect, for that comparison to work Obama would need to be on the same moral level as Hitler.  Now some people on here might honestly think that…. but since you seem like a reasonable person I hope you’ll admit that this isn’t a fair question to put to sean o sean.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 09:30 PM ET

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@Bezukov Obama doesn’t respect this country, and he makes it obvious all the time with his words and actions.

Thomas’ statement is correct, government on the whole is too big and has gotten away from it’s intended function, that goes for Dems and Repubs, It’s no longer what can we do to make the US better, it’s how can I get relected and push my party agenda at the same time.

Which when it comes to Obama, it’s socialism, a lack of personal responsibility and more taxes. I think people tend to forget that top 1% they’re so upset about? Yeah they already pay over 50% of the taxes in the US. The bottom 15%? That percent that gets all the welfare? pay nothing.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 10:35 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Whoa there man.  This is not about the actual moral level of a leader, it is about the right to opinions based on perception.  Keep in mind, Hitler was a well-respected world leader in 1936.  Henry Ford accepted a medal from him, and no one said boo.  However, many people thought he was an evil bastard that would lead to trouble.  These people were shouted down as “un-American” (I think you know what I mean). 
Some people are saying that you have to accept an invitation by the country’s leader no matter what.  This logic was certainly dominant in Nazi Germany.  I am not comparing Obama to Hitler (though Bush is close)......but I am using the extreme example to get the point across.  I am comparing one world leader to another; as in, if an athlete MUST attend his leader’s ceremony, then surely you would agree if Hitler was that leader. 
History can judge morality after the fact.  But in the present, it takes a bit of bravery to make your own call.  I understand that the political rhetoric is out of control down there, so it looks like I am just smearing wildly, and I get that because of that some people will be so angry that they won’t read closely.
Anyway, I am glad I seem reasonable.  But I will certainly do what you won’t, which is call people fascists.  I will gladly call everyone who believes in worshipping the flag, no matter how Abu Ghraibs there are abroad, no matter how people have been disappeared into camps, a fascist.  Most Americans are fascists now since the consensus is that dissent is un-American, and that crime is terrorism.  Since it is thought to be dangerous and unpatriotic to question the official lies of the secret police or to question the presence of troops deploying in our own streets. 
History offers many lessons on what is happening in America.  (Hysterics over Obama being evil are part of that insanity, and it’s fair enough if I rub you the wrong way on account of that - I certainly don’t think he is evil or good, just the same as the rest.)

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 10:37 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Realmk….............Hitler agreed with you too.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 10:41 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 08:35 PM ET

I think it’s time for you to step away from your keyboard…or I’ll start calling you Tony.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/23/12 at 10:45 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Anyway Bezukov, I am a fan of your posts and appreciate your attempt to keep this civil.  I may be insulting, but I hope it is not mindlessly insulting.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/23/12 at 10:48 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

@Bezukov Obama doesn’t respect this country, and he makes it obvious all the time with his words and actions.

Thomas’ statement is correct, government on the whole is too big and has gotten away from it’s intended function, that goes for Dems and Repubs, It’s no longer what can we do to make the US better, it’s how can I get relected and push my party agenda at the same time.

Which when it comes to Obama, it’s socialism, a lack of personal responsibility and more taxes. I think people tend to forget that top 1% they’re so upset about? Yeah they already pay over 50% of the taxes in the US. The bottom 15%? That percent that gets all the welfare? pay nothing.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 01/23/12 at 08:35 PM ET

Paul asked for the discussion to be about Tim Thomas/hockey, not about political opinions.  I’m going to honor that request.  If you really want tell me the true tale of your vapidity and the emotionalism of your opinion making process; you’re welcome to create a profile and message me privately.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/23/12 at 10:49 PM ET

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