Bruins goalie Tim Thomas declined an invitation to the White House by President Obama last week, a decision that has been causing quite a stir among Bruins fans and critics alike.
He gave a brief statement defending his decision on Facebook, stating simply that “the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People,” and that this was his own decision, not the decision of any other Bruin.
Regardless of his politics, Thomas himself insisted that Obama’s party and political views were not a factor in his decision — this choice was simply disrespectful, both to the president and to Thomas’ teammates.
It is not as if Thomas had to bow down and kiss Obama’s feet in gratitude for the invitation, nor does he have to agree with nor accept our current state of government. But I would say that most people would agree on the fact that it is not everyday that one gets invited to the White House, and it is simply rude to decline such an invitation.
And while I’m sure Thomas is a great guy and has done plenty for the world through charities, worked really hard to become the player that he is today, so on and so forth, his only real claim to fame is the fact that he plays hockey for a really good team — a humbling reality.
It is great that he is not willing to just accept the world as is, but in a situation such as this it would do him well to keep in mind just what he was being invited to the White House for, which is the sport of hockey – nothing more, nothing less.
And as for his teammates, the Bruins have always prided themselves on their ability to play as a team. With this action, Thomas absolutely shifted the attention from his championship-winning team to himself.
This may have not been his intention, as he only released one brief comment on this decision and refused to say any more, but he definitely should have known what a controversial move this would be and the press it would attract, as well as the questions that would be later asked of his teammates about their goalie.
In this attempt to make his politics known, Thomas completely overshadowed the accomplishments of his team.
Thomas is not the first person to snub a presidential invite, it has been pointed out, but that does not make his decision any less rude or out of line.
I applaud him for having a strong set of beliefs, but this was not the right way to go about expressing them. He just came across as rude and selfish, not “revolutionary” or “liberal.”
We may trust in Thomas when he is in front of the net, but off the ice he should get off his high horse.