Tim Thomas Cheated?
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01-24-2012, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Boston Bruins [team stats] all-world netminder Tim Thomas [stats] ignited a political firestorm — and drew a barrage of verbal slapshots from furious Democrats — when he brazenly snubbed President Obama by skipping the team’s Stanley Cup garden party at the White House yesterday.
“My advice to him is to stick to hockey,” said Phil Johnston, a top state Democrat who served under President Clinton. “I think Bruins players are taken seriously for their hockey, not for their politics.”
Thomas was the only member of the 2011 champs to skip yesterday’s ceremony honoring the team for its first Cup since 1972. In a posting on his Facebook page last night, Thomas wrote: “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties and Property of the People . . . Because I believe this, I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party.”
A native of Flint, Mich., Thomas wears a helmet adorned with the patriotic slogan “Don’t Tread on Me” and is a fan of conservative pundit Glenn Beck, formerly of Fox News.
The puck-stopper’s high-profile snub went viral as “Tim Thomas” became a trending topic on Twitter and Democrats hammered him, including lefty pundit Keith Olbermann, who fired off a tweet calling the goalie a “fool.”
Massachusetts Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Franck told the Herald: “I think anyone who really cares about the lives, liberty and happiness of the American people wouldn’t miss an opportunity to shake the hand of the man who got bin Laden.”
A White House spokesman declined to comment. Despite Thomas’ absence, Obama acknowledged the goaltender on the White House lawn: “This Stanley Cup was won by defense as much as by offense. Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup finals; set an all-time record for saves in the postseason. He also earned the honor of being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he had discussions with Thomas “over the past couple months” — apparently in an unsuccessful effort to convince the star goalie not to skip the ceremony.
“We’re like a family,” Chiarelli said. “We have our issues. You deal with them and move on, try and support everyone. This may or may not (overshadow the day), because the guys certainly enjoyed the day.”
Chiarelli said he could have given Thomas an ultimatum to attend — and could suspend him for refusing — but has opted not to take any action.
Thomas is the latest pro athlete to blow off a White House visit for political reasons.
Last year, retired Chicago Bears Hall of Fame lineman Dan Hampton said he was “not a fan of the guy in the White House” when he skipped a ceremony honoring the 25th anniversary of the Bears’ 1986 Super Bowl title. In 1996, former Green Bay Packers and Boston College tight end Mark Chmura, a Republican, skipped a meet-and-greet with President Clinton on moral grounds, citing the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
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