Thomas Refuses To Play Politics

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas makes a save. AP photo / Charles Krupa

Finally, something Democrats and Republicans can agree upon Tim Thomas is the most dangerous man in the United States. SEAL Team 6 has been put on alert.

Thomas, the goaltender for Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, declined the offer to join his team for the traditional White House video op. Depending on whom you chose to believe, Thomas insulted the team, the country, the office of the presidency, apple pie and Barack Obama himself. Maybe there is something to the protest Republicans can support.

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe called Thomas’s decision, “Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league.” I use this not to call out Dupont ,but because no one else has captured the anguish more effectively. He’s concise, just wrong.

Nothing that happens in D.C. proper is ever not about politics. The traditional White House visit allows the chief resident to step out of his somber role as leader of the free world and pretend to be one of the guys. It’s a scam. Back-slapping quarterbacks and pretending to understand the in-thecrease-rule is just part of the never-ending battle to garner votes. We all want a president who can talk the bloomers off Margaret Thatcher, slam kamikazes with Vladimir Putin and enjoy a bucket of greasy wings with a roofer from Toledo. It’s not going to happen, and we’d be pretty shocked and disappointed if it did. Imagine the president breaking bread with a member of the opposing party. Shocking. But we like to pretend, and that’s all a White House invite is, a trip to Disneyland where Mickey Mouse carries enough hidden fire power to cut any offending net-minder in half.

Thomas explained his actions in a statement posted on his Facebook page and the league’s website: “I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties and property of the people,” he wrote. “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”

Did Thomas put himself over his teammates? Yes, but that’s what free speech is. Freedom is the right to express an opinion without being endangered by those insisting on absolute conformity. Thomas could have made the trip and Rosa Parks could have stood up.

An equal comparison? No. But freedom is won in battles large and small, and Thomas fired his shot.