Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas denied an invitation to visit the White House Monday with his team because of his political opposition to the president’s policies.
U.S. presidents traditionally receive championship sports teams at the White House. The team is congratulated and the president is presented with a jersey making him an honorary member of the winning squad. The Boston Bruins were the winners of the 2011 Stanley Cup. The rest of the team did appear at the White House without Thomas.
“Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs and he chose not to join us,” said Bruins team president Cam Neely. “We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us, but that’s his choice. Obviously it’s not a choice that most of the guys, all the guys came except for Tim. That’s his decision and his choice.”
Thomas released a statement about his decision not to attend the event through his Facebook
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.
Thomas is not the first professional athlete to snub the president. NFL Hall of Famer Dan Hampton skipped a celebration of the Chicago Bears at the White House last year because he was “not a fan” of Obama. In 2009, James Harrison, a Steelers’ linebacker, declined a congratulatory visit saying that he just didn’t want to go.
Follow Donovan X. Ramsey on Twitter at @idxr