Bruins' Tim Thomas skips White House visit
Goalie Tim Thomas skipped the Boston Bruins’ visit to the White House on Monday, due to his political beliefs.
The Stanley Cup champions were honoured by U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, but Thomas declined to attend.
The Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP released a statement on the NHL’s website Monday explaining why he decided to skip what has become a tradition for athletes in the major North American team sports.
“I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people,” he said.
“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.”
The Bruins defended Thomas’ decision and said they made no effort to compel the goaltender to attend the event.
“Everyone has the right to voice their opinion,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told SI.com, adding that it’s “not the first time” an athlete has declined a presidential invitation.
Chiarelli told SI.com that the team had discussed the matter with Thomas in recent months.
“Whatever he will say is not reflective of our organization’s views or beliefs,” Chiarelli told the website.
In the Bruins’ 2011-12 media guide, Thomas, a Republican, cited conservative TV pundit Glenn Beck as the person he’d most like to have dinner with.
Bruins president Cam Neely said it was important to respect the wishes of their star netminder.
“Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us,” Neely told CSNNE.com. “We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us. But it’s his choice. It’s obviously not a choice most of the guys ... well all of the guys came except for Tim. But it’s his decision and his choice.”
Thomas, a native of Davison, Michigan, backstopped the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years.
© Copyright (c) canada.com