The Bear Essentials by Mark Feldman, 98.5 The Sports Hub

BOSTON (CBS) – Tim Thomas is correct. As an American citizen, he absolutely has the right to openly express his opinions on any topic. He can post blogs, make statements and wave his flag for as long as he wants.

Fine. But in doing so, Thomas must also understand that his actions are not free, they do, in fact come at a price.

Anytime an athlete chooses to express his or her opinion, particularly on complicated matters such as religious freedoms vs state regulated birth control, they run the risk of losing something. They lose support. They alienate themselves; alienate themselves from the fans, from the people who stood behind them, the ones that spend the money to come and watch them play. Sure, the majority of Bruins’ fans won’t exactly be exiting the Garden once Thomas steps on to the ice, but there will definitely be those still shaking their heads.  With a statement like “I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom” how can they not?

Read: Thomas Makes Noise On Facebook Again

Furthermore, I believe that if an individual chooses to openly share his or her opinion on any topic, then they must also be prepared for some level of scrutiny. So, as one of those fans left shaking their heads, here is my brief reaction to Thomas’ statement.

To interpret an insurance plan’s coverage of birth control as a government agenda against Catholics is utterly ridiculous and speaks volumes about the type person Tim Thomas is. The mere fact that the pill is covered does not impose on ones’ freedom to obtain it; If you do not believe in it, do not get it. If you do, it’s covered. Period. Furthermore, to nonchalantly draw a quote from Martin Niemoller in support of an already ridiculous stance makes me want to rip my hair out. Anybody making any claims or drawing any comparisons between the United States government and Nazi Germany needs to have their head examined. You know who else makes those comparisons? The people you see around town holding the “Obama as Hitler’s” photos.

Tim Thomas needs to take a step back and put things into perspective. There is no agenda. No one is being taken away. Things are fine.

Read: The Bear Essentials Blog

Once again, yes, it is absolutely Thomas’ right to speak on any and all matters in which he chooses. My question is, at what cost? Is it really worth alienating the people who have stood by you through thick and thin? Sure, my response was a bit of a rant but I know for a fact that I am not the only person that feels this way. People have strong opinions when it comes to serious matters and when an athlete chooses to express his or her thoughts, they run the risk of pushing their core supporters away.

Follow Mark Feldman on Twitter @mfsports21

Comments (21)
  1. robd says:

    The way I see it is that the freedoms that are allowed by covering “the pill” go against religious beliefs, which is how some people want this country to be set up. However, that’s not the way one of the fundamental principals of this country works, you know, separation of church and state?

    It seems to me lately that all this “We much revert back to the constitution! the olden days! make this country right again!” are looking back to falsehoods of the olden days, and are interpreting the constitution as they see fit for their moral benefit in modern times.

    1. Stephen Saganey says:

      Maybe, you didn’t know this but it is already a law in the majority of the States. All this did was pull the backwards States into the 21st century. This is a moot issue when you actually examine it or find the facts. Besides, this doesn’t impinge on any religious freedoms, it gives you a choice.

  2. Cyclonevette says:

    The first statement of your argument in this article is already wrong Feldman. “To interpret an insurance plan’s coverage of birth control as a government agenda against Catholics is utterly ridiculous and speaks volumes about the type person Tim Thomas is.” No one is saying the government is against Catholics, it is that catholic institutions believe the government shouldn’t force them to pay for something they don’t believe in. The same way catholic institutions wouldn’t be happy if the government mandated them to fund abortions. You’re whole article is wrong on the facts and way off base on the real issue at hand. I think Tim’s perspective is that he stands with the Catholics on the issue because he doesn’t think the government should be meddling in their beliefs and forcing them to pay for things they are strictly against.

  3. donny says:

    As long as Catholics are accepting of all other religious beliefs…

    Imagine the possibilities… every world religion can say that this law and that law offends them and their beliefs.

    Are Catholics ready for a level playing field which affords Muslims, Hindus, etc. all the same rights to ‘opt out’ ?…

  4. Greg says:

    I think the issue is the distinction between being a health care provider and a church. If you want to be a healthcare provider, you need to operate from secular values, not religious. This is what is meant by the separation of state and religion.

  5. Richard Mays says:

    Dude, you demonstrate your own lack of understanding with your comments. Thomas is referencing a quote that does not imply the the US government is akin to Nazi Germany. He is using the quote to illustrate the point that if people silently accept infringements on their rights, then there will be no one left to argue cause everyone will be “part of the group”. And if his penalty for speaking out about his beliefs is to have you say things like “type OF person Thomas is” or to lump him in with people who hold the Obama is Hitler signs I’m sure he can bear your own left wing radicalism disguised under the banner of “your opinion”. I’m sure he knows what the consequences of his actions are. Do you expect famous people not to speak up unless it’s praising Obama or railing on about injustice in other countries?

    1. Jorge Moscoso says:

      ok, but it is funny how he did not have a problem with his party comming after the unions in Wisconsin. Funny how he gets to pick and choose from the quote what works for him and what doesn’t.

  6. Scott Porcella says:

    I love listening to Felger, but the last time I checked America and Canada were still free countries. People, regardless of their position in society, have a right to speak their minds. As a Professional Athlete, if Tim Thomas wishes to speak his mind on political and social issues, it is his right to do so. If that “alienates” him from fans, so be it. I believe that speaks more about those individuals than it does Tim Thomas.

    Lets keep in mind that in today’s world, Sports Writers and Sports Fans alike all seem to voice their opinions on facebook or Tweet their random thoughts on Twitter on an almost minute by minute basis, and no one seems to mind.

    Why should Tim Thomas be dissuaded from doing the same ?

    If he has strong opinions on subjects that he thinks matter, as a citizen of one great free country working in another, why should we be suggesting he be silent if he wishes to have his voice heard ?

    Why should he be “alienated” for speaking his mind ? Does this not say more about the fan, than the athlete ?

    I for one love the entire Bruins Team, and enjoy watching Tim Thomas work his magic in net. I am glad I live in a society where people can express their opinions freely, and even if I disagree, can still co-exist with those people.

    I will continue to watch Tim Thomas and the Bruins contend for another cup. I suppose if his sharing of political and social views is so upsetting to people, they have the right to “unlike” him on faceBook, “un-follow” him on Twitter, or dare I say……change the channel when the puck drops !

    I for one will stay tuned.

    1. saucelah says:

      Should Tim Thomas be dissuaded from doing the same? Not if he doesn’t mind alienating a portion of his fans. Whether or not he is alienated is absolutely beside the point.

      But on the same note, while Thomas is free to express his opinion, CBSBoston columnists are free to describe it and respond, and that is part of the price he pays.

      1. Scott Porcella says:

        “CBSBoston columnists are free to describe it and respond, and that is part of the price he pays”.

        True. But I feel it speaks much more loudly on the FAN that choses to alienate someone based on their political/social views…..or more importantly, the fact they chose to express them. I think thats the real story. (and I question if it’s really happening). If an athlete chooses to post their political/social views on facebook/twitter…..I think most fans would say……”so what”.

  7. massman says:

    Holy crap. How many times did this moron get hit in the head with the puck?

  8. ginny2 says:

    It’s OK for actors to stand up and thow their personal opinion/beliefs into the political arena but suddenly it isn’t OK for athletes to do it? Or is it that this particular athlete doesn’t side with the left bent mainstream media in this state? I’m a moderate and I for one am fed up with the lack of common courtesy and respect we no longer see in the news today.

    1. massman says:

      It’s more than ok for Thomas too express his ignorance. He’s just going to get called on it.

      1. blackbear1 says:

        You just expressed your ignorance, massman. You and Feldman give my best to alec baldwin and all his hollywood friends. They seem to have no problem with their views and assuming they are slam dunk correct.

  9. firemanmark says:

    Tim Thomas’ opinions have absolutely nothing to do with hockey.I guess bledding-heart Liberals(see Feldman) can’t find REAL topics to write about so they have to go with this fodder. Massman: the word is TO not TOO.I guess ignorance comes in all forms,eh? Saucelah: of course Feldman has a right to respond with his column.The question remains though;is this the best sports news he can come up with? He’s obviously an ACLU man.His name is FELDMAN.You figure it out.Oh,my bad.Did I hit a nerve?

    1. petem says:

      Wow nice anti-Semitic comeback there firemanmark? Is that the best you can do? I doubt you have the Huevos to actually be a Fire Fighter, my experience with them is that they are grown ups; like Mark Feldman.

      1. firemanmark says:

        I am a firefighter and the comments were specifically put there to draw out the Liberal jerks like you.I think Jews and Israel are awesome! Mark Feldman is a grown-up? His writing is about 7th grade level. I love taunting people like you.I’ve seen your postings before and think you are full of yourself.What do you do? Liberal Arts Degree…desk job…? You couldn’t do my job! Go Tim!! Vote Republican!

    2. Jorge Moscoso says:

      So you are a fireman, well I can’t wait to see Thomas get up to defend your union bargaining powers from being taken aways by his party. I am sure you have some cool perks too, don’t ya? Ask your collegues in Wisconsin if he stood up with them.

  10. petem says:

    I love the 1st and 2nd & 10th amendment conservative here telling people that it’s OK that Tim Thomas is expressing his opinions, her while denigrating ‘Hollywood’ types for doing the same.
    Here’s what you clowns don’t ever seem to get. When you express your opinion, some may disagree, because they don’t share the same view. This is N O R M A L.
    You guys love to tell us what you think and how we should live and conduct ourselves…WE DON’T AGREE!

    1. firemanmark says:

      It sure beats being a Socialist puppet! I’ll keep my 2nd Amendment and you go follow the joker in the white house!

      1. Jorge Moscoso says:

        yeah yeah keep on telling that to yourself

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