Tim ThomasCould you turn down an invitation to go to the White House to meet President Barack Obama? Goaltender Tim Thomas did when the president invited the Boston Bruins over to honor their 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. What makes it even more sad is that Thomas is one of only two Americans from the 2011 winning team, and he opted not to go.
Most people have seen this in one of two ways: You could see it as 1) a statement on the importance of freedom of speech or 2) as a completely egomaniacal, classless move on Thomas's part. I fall in the latter camp, even though Thomas laid out all of his reasons on his Facebook page last night.
Here's Thomas's 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
I understand that Thomas didn't want to pose all happy and smiley next to a politician whose philosophies he doesn't agree with. You have to give the guy props for not wanting to look like a hypocrite. He's standing up for what he believes in and is a refreshing reminder that we do live in a free country.
However, I do feel like as an American, he ought to respect the office and what it represents, regardless of who's in it. He could have voiced his dissent via social media yet still made the effort to meet the president and show he's the bigger man and proud to be an American. At the very least, he could have showed up to represent his team and honor his country, the same country which gives him the freedom to voice his concerns on a social media platform in the first place.
This move, to me, just seems childish and classless.
For Tim and everyone else who missed it, here's Obama honoring the team:
What do you think of Tim Thomas refusing to meet Barack Obama?
Image via Dan4th/Flickr