Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas decided to forego his opportunity to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama on Monday.
While his teammates were shaking hands with the POTUS and basking in the glory of officially being recognized as last year’s Stanley Cup champs, Thomas staged something of a very public (but respectful) boycott. When pressed on the matter by reporters, team GM Peter Chiarelli didn’t really expound on what Thomas’ deal was beyond what we already knew – his goalie had political differences of opinion with the Commander in Chief. However, later in the day, the outspoken goalie broke it all down himself in a public statement:
"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"
Perfectly reasonable and understandable. Freedom of speech is an important thing, and anyone who wants to express their point of view by not participating in a team function should be free to do so without prosecution or headaches from fans, media and anyone else.