BOSTON (CBS) – Bruins goalie Tim Thomas declined to attend the team’s Stanley Cup celebration with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday.

Thomas, who is known to support the Tea Party, told Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli months ago that he would not attend the event due to his political differences from the Obama administration.

“Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs and he chose not to join us,” said Cam Neely.

Thomas released a statement on his Facebook page about his decision:

“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”

Thomas, one of just two Americans on the Bruins team that won it all (along with defenseman Steven Kampfer), won the Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies to help the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972 last June.

Bruins President Cam Neely released the following statement:

“As an organization we were honored by President Obama’s invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team’s achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject.”

Comments (109)
  1. tsal says:

    For those applauding Thomas and his right to choose, how do you feel about what the meeting ultimately became? It was a day for the entire Bruins team. It was not a Thomas day. Yet Thomas decided to make it about him. I always thought a team played as a team and that one member did what was best for all. At the very lease, he could have made the announcement days before and let some of the fallout diffuse.

    Yes as an American citizen he had the right. As a decent human being he might have thought of someone other than himself.

    1. Nate says:

      “It was a day for the entire Bruins team. It was not a Thomas day. Yet Thomas decided to make it about him. I always thought a team played as a team and that one member did what was best for all. At the very lease, he could have made the announcement days before and let some of the fallout diffuse.”

      That’s one of the only valid points anyone on this comment board has made. Thomas definitely could have announced his intention a few days in advance, or simply informed the team privately that he’d not be attending, and then waited until after the event was over to justify his absence to the media if asked. However, Thomas is not alone to blame for the fact that the day became one about himself and his issues with the president; the media, both conservative and liberal, had as much of a part (if not a larger one) to play in making that happen.

      Though I agree with you that Thomas could have gone about this in a different, and perhaps better way, I do still support his right to make a conscious and public political act and applaud him for not abdicating his political beliefs simply because some (who apparently think it’s obligatory for every American to have some undefined “respect” for members and leaders of the state apparatus) find those beliefs and Thomas’ actions disrespectful, shocking, or selfish.

      Again, I say this as a far-left anarchist-communist, whose own beliefs are diametrically opposed to that of Thomas and whose criticisms of President Obama originate in a wholly different place.

  2. wyatt says:

    Hats off to Thomas. A man of integrity. Thanks for getting the message out.

  3. tsal says:

    Listen to half of you – the right is calling the liberals names, the left is calling the conservatives names. It is about as sad as it gets. It’s not about right or left – it’s about respect – and if you don’t think Thomas should respect the president or the office of the presidency, he sure as heck should respect his team members.

    How foolish to begin to believe that manners and respect have an R or a D following them. Good grief.

    1. The Batman says:

      And that, in a proverbial nutshell, sums it quite nicely.

    2. gramps says:

      It’s ‘NOT’ about respect…..

      It’s about ‘TOO’ much ‘SPENDING’!

      gramps…..PS

      The highlight of tonights ‘State of the Union’ will be the ‘well deserved’
      standing ovation from both sides of the isle, for ‘Gabby Giffords’…..

      A tough gutsy Lady…..

      I wish her well..

      Tissues all around!

      1. pocasset says:

        too much spending so you must be in the wrong place unless you think he gets paid too much to skate. we are talking about a guy that works for the bruins not a politician. he didnt show up for work.

      2. gramps says:

        On the contrary, Thomas showed up ‘BIG TIME’!

        “He dun good”!

        gramps

  4. bb says:

    I believe we still live in a free country where a person should be able to make their own decisions. Too many people just toe the line and aren’t willing to stand up for what they believe. Thomas didn’t make it about him, the media did, Hat’s off to him!

    1. tsal says:

      when he leveled his decision at the last minute knowing how it would overshadow the rest of the teams invitation to the white house? Really – he didn’t make it about him?? He may have stood for what he believes but he sure didn’t stand for his team.

      1. firemanmark says:

        Thomas let the team know months ago that he would not attend.Once again,tsal,you show how clueless you Socialist/Marxists really are.Go back to the home .

      2. gramps says:

        The team knew ‘TWO’ weeks ago!

        gramps

  5. The Batman says:

    Thomas did make it all about himself when he didn’t join his team mates at the White House. He didn’t win the championship all by himself, it took a team to do that and his self centered behavior showed how little respect he has for the TEAM that he was a part of that accomplished so much.

  6. Willow says:

    With all of the notoriety and money that Tim Thomas has, if he disagrees so much with the president, then why not run for office himself. I did not vote for Obama, but as I’ve said in the past, if he fails, we all do. We should try supporting and praying for our president instead of finding fault with everything and pasting a label to it. I would like an invite to sit and get a chance to speak face to face with the president. Whether it does any good or not, I would at least be able to voice my concerns in person.

  7. Rosie says:

    As long as athletes do the job they’re paid to do, and as long as what they choose to do on their own time is not illegal or immorak, I don’t care. Just one other thought — what took the White House so long to honor the Bruins? They won the Stanley Cup MONTHS ago!

  8. Steve says:

    How come no-one made a big deal when Theo chose to not go to the White House after the Sox won when Bush was president? Theo did not go for political reasons as well, yet the media commended him.

  9. ShawnC from TO says:

    After reading numerous posts on the net and seeing so many negative comments, it is clear people have lost site of what’s at stake. Over the last 50 years (at first gradually) we have been subject to more and more ‘legislated’ laws which have reduced our freedoms.

    The roots of our freedoms (maxims in law – our inherent common (sense) laws) and how to preserve them (the court process) w/ education isn’t common knowledge and we are paying the price as the minds of the populace have been ‘programed’ for conformity. They “say” our freedoms our under attack (without evidence) by outside sources, but I see it more from within.

    TT said it plain and simple and so many are taking this out of context. We need people to open their minds up and realize that a revolution IS taking place and either enough people are going to stand up and reclaim our common law heritage or see it disappear for good and become enslaved by the corporate elite who are running the show behind the curtain (the bible states that money is the root of all evil ).

    Solution: Truly have governments of the people, by the people, for the people (not corporations – aka: persons, yes persons, look it up in any law dictionary) and create an interest free currency (sovereign dollar?) and stop using the elite’s currency (yes, it’s theirs).

    Remember your history people, and for once, let’s not make it repeat itself. This is critical with the technology that is now in place at this time in human history.

    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” ~ Nazi Reich Marshall Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg War Trials

    Good for you Tim for standing up and being true to yourself. More of a fan now than ever before. Your playing in a city with great history, hopefully the majority remembers that history and doesn’t conform – and supports you all the way.

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