Earlier today the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins visited the White House to meet with President Obama in recognition of their championship run last summer. The Bruins were given a private tour of the White House, then the President spoke with the team in the East Room. Spirits were high among the Bruins’ players as President Obama affectionately referred to forward Brad Marchand as ‘The Little Ball of Hate,’ but one of the most important pieces to Boston’s Stanley Cup puzzle was surprisingly absent from the ceremony: goaltender Tim Thomas.
One of two US-born players on the Bruins’ squad (Thomas, Kampfer), Thomas decided not to accompany his teammates on their official visit to the White House. In a statement released through his Facebook page, Thomas said:
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.
Before Thomas released this statement many people were on the fence, scrambling to figure out why the Bruins’ netminder skipped out on the opportunity to meet Chocolate Jesus. People instantly labeled Thomas ‘conservative,’ ‘Right wing’ and the like, assuming his absence was a statement against the President, or perhaps against his political party. Others questioned Thomas’ actions – and by extension his worth – as a teammate.
It is very clear now just how wrong those sentiments were.
You may not agree with Tim Thomas’ decision to be elsewhere during what was essentially a team function, but you have to respect his right as an American citizen to protest a government he deems unjust. This wasn’t about distaste for the President or any particular political party; it was about a man exercising his own free will.
That, my friends, is something we can all appreciate.