Bruins Goalie Tim Thomas Skips Out on White House Visit

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Last year, then-Flyers Kris Versteeg and Nick Boynton decided to skip the Blackhawks’ visit to the White House because they wanted to practice with the Flyers. Noble.

Today, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas skipped out on the Bruins’ visit to the White House because of political differences. Jackasstic!

The details from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli via Puck Daddy:

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed that Thomas had told him months ago he would not attend the White House event due to his political and ideological differences with the Obama administration. Chiarelli said he had tried to convince Thomas to attend the event "over the last couple months" to no avail.

"He chose not to come. The reasons behind it I think he'll make the media aware through his Facebook," said Chiarelli.

The GM said that he could have mandated Thomas attend the event, but chose not to. "I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don't, I can suspend him. But I'm not going to suspend Tim. Whatever his position is isn't representative of the Boston Bruins or my own. But I'm not going to suspend him."


It’s Thomas' right to do what he chooses, it seems our country was founded on that principle, but what’s the point? Now, instead of the attention being on his (I write this begrudgingly) deserving teammates and Zdeno Chara, everyone will talk about the best player’s absence from the White House. 

Whether you agree with Barack Obama and his administration's political views or not should have little, if anything, to do with attending. It’s a photo-op for the President, yes, but it’s also a way for the team (and fans) to celebrate their accomplishment by getting a little recognition from the most powerful man in the world.

What’s worse, Thomas, who is American and apparently a member of the Tea Party, seemingly had no qualms about having USA draped all over his chest in the 2010 Olympics, which took place more than a year into Obama’s presidency. The White House visit, like the Olympics, really has nothing to do with who is the in the Oval Office. Rather, it’s about the fact that the President of the United States is going to give you a golf clap, a pat on the ass, and shine the spotlight on a bunch of otherwise undeserving athletes for a few moments. 

Instead, Thomas, in his absence, is now the center of attention. Oh, and so is that Facebook page his GM mentioned– the Tim Thomas Hockey Camps Facebook page. Bruins blogger Matt Kalman sums it up best:

Great job of free advertising for Tim Thomas Hockey Camps. Bet you can't get govt. assistance to help with tuition.


A political statement and some PR for your for-profit hockey camp?! Double-word score!

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62 Responses

  1. Obviously thoughtless and disrespectful, but what does this say about Thomas’ psyche. He’s about to light himself on fire. Does he believe that his magical presence legitimizes the President?

  2. Just because he drapes USA on his chest, doesn’t mean he supports the United States. I am extremely Pro-America, not a big fan of the president. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t put on a USA jersey if I was worthy enough.
    He lost an iconic opportunity to go to the white house. That is his biggest lose.
    I just hate to see sports and politics mixing. It just doesn’t work. I also hate music and politics. Its just annoying. Sports and music are about enjoyment, and reading stuff like this gives me no enjoyment either way.

  3. It’s really funny about how everyone should once again ‘respect’ the office of the president and the president himself. Right or wrong, President Bush was one of the most disrespected president’s during his last year or so in office. Athletes, celebs and ‘regular joes’ went out of there way to take shots and disrespect Bush. If someone had done this to Bush, the wouldn’t be called a douchebag, they’d be touted as a hero.

  4. that’s my point, wasn’t trying to say the olympics were the same thing, just that they, like the white house visit, have nothing to do with the president. it’s a honor, just accept it. he doesn’t have to shine the president’s shoes. in fact, if he’s so damn patriotic, he should appreciate the president’s opposing views.

  5. i think thomas is a tool. this solidifies my opinion of him. this is part of the problem with our current government. what happened to compromises for the good of the people??? instead over the past decade, the US government (and prob longer than a decade) has become a huge ‘who’s dick is bigger’ fight and thomas not going to be congratulated on his amazing play and championship just adds fuel to that fire. sure as an american he has ‘the right to choose’ on whether to go or not, but his reasoning his absurd. just because you have differing views does not mean the mans an asshole. he wasnt bringing you to his house to discuss iran or the economy, like kyle said he wanted to give ya a slap on the ass. i’m moving to canada.

  6. What does it say about the state of politics in our country that occasionally a millionaire athlete (Dan Hampton did this recently when ’85 Bears finally got to visit the WH after having to delay their original visit due to Challenger accident) is unable to attend a photo op and shake hands with someone they disagree with politically? It’s not supposed to be about Tim Thomas, but he went and it made it about Tim Thomas.

  7. so the jerkoff lucky enough to be a FUCKING multi-millionaire in a country where priorities are so fucked that he can be mega-rich for doing nothing more than entertaining people – is now going to make a political statement
    fuck you
    who gives a shit what you think – you ignorant fuck
    in 3 years you will absolutely nothing again

  8. Nick is exactly right. If this were Bush, nobody would care. But because it’s Obama… HOW DARE HIM.

  9. i can assure you my post has nothing to do with Bush or Obama, Todd. I hop on both sides of the fence depending on the issue.

  10. Nick, you actually provided further evidence as to why this was ignorant and extremely disrespectful. George Bush hosted the same events, and the players showed up. Not because they thought George Bush supported their political beliefs, but because when the President of the United States invites you to the white house, you go. Period. Especially as an American, out of respect for the past Presidents, Generals, heck even all the veterans and purple heart winners who have been bestowed the same invitation for significantly more important achievements. Tim Thomas isn’t bigger than any of those people, he’s a hockey goalie. This has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican. The bruins have something like 3 or 4 Americans on their whole team? Sucks a bunch of Canadiens and Europeans had more respect for our President than one of the faces of American hockey. What a joke.

  11. Yes that’s correct James Harrison… that’s how this thing works. I remember when he said that, it just still burns me up.
    He’s a complete piece of shit for passing this opportunity up. Enjoy your politics, teabagger.

  12. Hey Tim, I know you get paid millions and all to play a game for a living and are probably too busy telling kids not to use satanic birth control to attend, maybe a soldier returning from getting shot at everyday in the 2 wars Obama’s predecessor started would like to go in your place? Jerkoff.

  13. if i ever got the chance to meet the president, even if i didnt agree with some of his beliefs i would still meet with him. its a once in a lifetime chance for most of us. what a jackass for not going. im sorry but thats just disrespectful to the president and the country. i hated bush because lets face it the man was retarded, but would i still like to meet him? sure it be cool to say i meet him. you could even talk politics to him and how you disagree with him. fuck thomas.

  14. Two theories:
    (1) Thomas is a Republican, and like many others in his party, he listens to certain right-leaning media demagogs who have convinced the more soft-minded in their party into believing that Obama is the boogie-man. I’m sure Thomas would be quick to call anyone who declined an invitation to Bush’s White House “unpatriotic” even if said athlete were opposed to one of the two wars Bush started, the way he flushed the economy down the toilet while giving his rich friends tax cuts, or the way he handled Katrina, or… well, I’m sure Thomas would have a big shit faced grin while shaking W’s hand.
    (2) Thomas is angry that Obama will not pass legislation that will allow Thomas to marry his boyfriend.

  15. Anyone who puts stock into anything Glen Beck has to say isn’t worthy of a visit to the white house in the first place.

  16. Philadelphians once again hating on someone who has actually won something and who isn’t a leftist drone like most Philadelphians. This guy is now my new favorite player.

  17. Harry Kalas hated Obama so much that he actually died the day before, just to get out of it.

  18. typical from this shitbagger. and to think he hails from a ravaged blue collar town like flint mich. hes lucky his old man had money for his goalie eqip.

  19. Obama has failed on every promise that he made. Tim Thomas said he wasn’t going and didn’t go. This makes Tim Thomas a more honest American than Obama.

  20. You probably weren’t calling him an asshole when he was wearing a USA jersey at the Olympics. Thomas is an incredible goalie and a classy guy, any moron that doesn’t know that shouldn’t be making dipshit comments in here. I’m a die hard Flyers fan, but y’all are embarrassing…

  21. Selfish move on his part to distract attention from the team. We can only hope the attention that comes with the statement throws him off his game a bit.

  22. God forbid somebody disagrees with the president he must be a brainwashed right wing lunatic. Ooooooor maybe he just realizes that President Obama is actually the second worst president ever, and if he wants to go to the White House he can take a tour.

  23. Seriously who cares? So the guy didn’t go to the white house OMG say its not so! Its his choice end of story. This writer and others have decided to make it an issue. Better this than him say something politically motivated at the ceremony like all those wacko actors do at their award ceremonies or musicians do at their concerts.

  24. There is a difference between liking something and respecting something. You don’t have to LIKE Obama, but you should RESPECT Obama and his office. Thomas’ actions are the kind of petty nonsense that makes our political debate in this country so full of vitriol.
    And for many of the conservations here who want to high five Thomas, you’re probably the same kind of people who thought that liberal outrage at Bush was unpatriotic. And f that’s how you felt, you are an embarrassment to true conservatives everywhere.
    (For the record, I am a right leaning moderate.)

  25. Here is his 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”
    Awesome…just awesome. I wish more had the balls to take small stands of civil disobedience like this. Since when did sports have to revolve around the state? National anthems, and now this….all you tools bow down to your masters!

  26. After reading what he said in his statement I whole heartedly agree and have a new found respect. I was gonna call him a stupid WIngnut but I would have been wrong.

  27. Wow, really like and respect his statement.
    The comments above about how this would be different if it were Bush are absolutely true, Tim Thomas would be everyone’s hero here.
    It’s a shame, such an awesome article on Paterno yesterday, and today we’re back to the child like “douchbaggery” posts. How about a Giroux making a guy wet (which I still don’t get) post?

  28. Thank goodness he’s a citizen of a country that allows it’s citizens to speak freely like that. As far as his statement goes, I can’t disagree with it at all. I’ll golf clap Thomas for making a stand for what he believes. And the fact that he mentions both parties are at fault shows this isn’t about him being brainwashed by a party, but quite the opposite actually.
    The only US citizen from that Stanley cup team and he doesn’t wish to show up. I’d say it is quite a statement actually.

  29. So… Now we’re a political blog as well?
    For fuck’s sake, Kyle. I thought you better than the 75% of this city that spews shit from the mouth about politics that they don’t understand.
    Fact of the matter is, a silent protest like this is 100x’s better than the loud, vocal protest that so many celebrities gave when G.W. was in office. Fact is, as quite a few other commenters have said, if G.W. were in office, the man would be commended for his quietly voicing his opinion. The double-standard in this country physically makes me sick.
    Based on a good number of the ignorant comments “Etierh 1.He’s a Republican, or 2. He’s gay” (because that either or makes ALL the sense in the world), I’d say that the vast number of people commenting on politics don’t actually follow politics. God Bless America.
    Biggest problems with this country are double-standards, people not genuinely caring about politics, and everyone following the mass-media’s approach to what is right and wrong.
    Kyle, this wouldn’t be a story if media outlets such as yourself didn’t make it one. You’re right. The non-story of his silent protest will take away from the rest of the team being there, but only because the media will blow it out of proportion and turn it into something it’s not…
    And, based on other comments in the thread, he released a statement giving his reasons for not attending. Why isn’t this statement in your story? I’ve gone back and read/scanned the thing about 5 times, and I see nothing quoted from him.
    But, you quote someone making a comment on government assistance for tuition for a hockey camp… Makes perfect sense to me.

  30. “Bruins blogger Matt Kalman sums it up best:Great job of free advertising for Tim Thomas Hockey Camps. Bet you can’t get govt. assistance to help with tuition.”
    From the sound of it the guy (Matt Kalman) just doesn’t get it at all. Maybe Kyle doesn’t either? I’d wager my pay check that Thomas doesn’t feel the US Gov’t should be in the business of funding sports camps. And I don’t either. Hockey is a pricey sport for people who have a little extra money and can afford to pay the way for their child to participate. Why should every citizen take on extra tax burden to support people who wish to play a sport? This is one of the fundamental problems with our government that the guy is talking about.

  31. Like the President or not, he is still our President. To snub a once in a lifetime opportunity (also like winning the Stanley Cup), it is disrespectful for what Thomas did, especially as a previous representative for our country in USA Hockey. Millions of people have to deal with Obama’s policies. I am pro-Republican, I cant stand his policies, especially censorship. But give the man a little respect for 30 minutes by being there. He has the hardest job in the world for lousy pay. Thomas was selfish and disrespectful. For an American who makes millions of dollars in the NHL, he should still say “Hello Mr. President and Thank You”

  32. Tim’s statement reads great until you do your homework and find out the #1 person he would like to meet and work with is certifiable lunatic Glenn Beck, who transcends politics and uses shock media to whip the gullible masses into a quasi-religious fervor. So while his written statement for not attending seem impressive and coherent, it’s hard not to suspect that he truly believes Obama has a fake birth certificate and that the USA worked with Israel to pull off 9/11.

  33. “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.”
    Otherwise known as the results of the Patriot Act launched by the Bush Administration. Way to go, yet another filthy rich white guy who believes whatever Fox News shoves up their ass.

  34. Just because he’s not foaming at the mouth like Hank Williams Jr. doesn’t make him a saint. If he’s a misguided finger puppet of fox news then that sucks, but either way the guy shouldn’t mix politics and sports. If I’m looking for a bold political statement, no matter what side I’m on, I’m not going to be looking to an over priveleged douche who makes millions by standing in a crease.

  35. and people love their freedom without understanding the actual definition. it’s his american right to make a decision.

  36. Tim Thomas is only the center of attention because media outlets, websites and bloggers everywhere make him the center of attention. Instead of writing articles about the team’s visit to the White House and briefly mentioning that Thomas chose not to attend for personal reasons, the negative HAS to be sensationalized. What a travesty! Thomas didn’t show up! Who gives a damn? You’re getting angry over a situation that you’re contributing to.
    You need to read Tim Thomas’ quote about why he didn’t attend – because you’re clearly mixed up about his feelings towards his COUNTRY and his GOVERNMENT. I could go on here – but what’s the point? You’ll probably continue to write garbage just like this.
    You’re an idiot.

  37. I respect Thomas for this. It’s not a show of partisanship, like some have been saying. I think it’s unfair to say that he was protesting this administration’s policies. I call for the downfall of the two-party system, and I hate partisanship, but Thomas said that he is upset at both parties for restricting individual liberty. So comparing Obama to Bush is not relevant here. Thomas is not protesting one party’s platform, he is protesting the entire system of government. Much less petty.

  38. There is nothing heroic about what Tim Thomas has done—he put himself before his team. The ceremony is a recognition of the team’s accomplishment, with the President congratulating them on behalf of the American people. It’s an occasion that, despite being held at the country’s political epicenter, is wholly apolitical.
    To have made it political, and brought attention to himself, is an insult to his Bruins teammates and what they collectively accomplished.

  39. On second thought your ARE a Wingnut cock sucker TT go F yourself. I don’t believe you are biased against government corruption in general you only wish to appear that way. If McCain was in there you’d be in there like swimwear.

  40. “This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.” – All politics aside, this statement is the problem. This wasn’t for Tim Thomas. This was for the Boston Bruins. The TEAM. Again, politics aside, his teammates should be ashamed of him.

  41. I love how the majority of these posts threatening other people and calling everyone else idiots are hiding behind fake names… Grow some balls and put your real name if you want to call someone out. I think he should have gone to the white house and just respected the tradition.

  42. While I respect his opinions on where this country is going and what we have done, I lose all that respect when it sinks in that he declined an invitation from the President of the US to visit the White House. The visit had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with Obama wanting to congratulate the best hockey team of 2011. Real classy, TT

  43. “Captain Sobel, we salute the rank, not the man.”
    — Major Dick Winters Band of Brothers.
    Just sayin’

  44. Tim B., I agree with everything you said except for “The visit had nothing to do with politics….” EVERYTHING an office holder does in front of cameras has to do with politics.

  45. Regarding Thomas’ statement as shown in PhilsPhaninFL’s comment
    By making that statment he made it about polliticks when he said it wasn’t about polliticks. In other words, the TTTT (Timmy The-Tool Thomas) is contradickting himself, like this:
    Well, WGAS, WGAF. When the Bruins wash-out either in the end of the reg season or in the POs (They’ll go farther with Tooka), TTTT will just be another washed-up has been and Boston will be happy to depart with him. I’m glad the Flyers didn’t go for him when he had a chance. I’d STILL rather have our Breezy-brained head-case just for his antics (better than TTTT’s antics), even if young Bobs is really the best for the Flyers’ future.
    Ah, I see from the Wickipeedia that TTTT’s from Flint. As Lavs would say, that’s Typical Michigan. They’re all American Hating sepperatists up there, aren’t they? Ever heard of the “Michigan Militia”? If they think it’s bad in this country there are a lot of worser places to live.

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