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?
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.
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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