When we first read on the Twitterz that Tim Thomas was skipping out on the traditional "Stanley Cup winners meet the President trip to the White House" we rolled our eyes and wondered what was going through the old boy’s head. Now we aren’t so sure what to think.

Thomas released a statement on the matter:

"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"

Now if there is anyone less qualified to speak on matters of politics and protest it is your ol’ pal Wanye. But we can set up a bit of a debate on this rare instance when American politics and the NHL collide.


One can argue that it is a tremendous honour to meet the President of the United States – regardless of your political affiliations or whatever axes you have to grind with the Government. Getting a tour of the White House, meeting the Commander in Chief and presenting him with the obligatory jersey is a once in a lifetime honour that most of us regular Joes couldn’t even hope to get.

One could make a convincing case that skipping out on something like this is not only disrespectful to your team but to the United States as a whole. These folks would say that hockey players have no business making protests like this.

Regardless of what you feel you should go to the White House like a good 2011 Cup Champion and keep your mouth shut and smile for the cameras.



One could also choose to admire the stance that Thomas has taken. His statement on the matter is amazingly lucid – how many other professional athletes have "excercised their rights as a Free Citizen" in a public manner like this? It also shows a level of awareness and thought – this clearly isn’t a simple matter of "I don’t like Obama therefore I won’t go to the White House."

It raises the visibility of a growing protest against the Government in the US and even made the headlines of our favourite consipiracy/economic blog Zero Hedge. There the support for Thomas in the comments section was very strong – until it devolved into Canucks hating (which was also quite entertaining):

Al Gorerhythm: Well done TT. I hope that it is not your last public statement on these matters though. We need folk in highly visible positions to spread the news. Kudos.

Arkadaba: As a Habs fan – well you know. Kudos to him for taking a stand. And he has a lot to lose like endorsements etc. (which he will). Should be NHL player of the year.

Because of Thomas’ protest, this is now making international headlines – here is a take from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Goaltender Thomas insisted his decision to snub the ceremony with US President Barack Obama, a Democrat, was not a partisan gesture in favour of the opposing Republican party, but a decision based on his belief that the US government has too much influence on American individuals’ lives."


How do you read this whole thing? Do professional athletes have any business making political statements like this? Or should they keep their opinions to themselves and stick to what they know? We would cheerfully ship them to meet the ghost of Kim Jong Il if it meant the Oilers would win the Cup.

But we are a simple minded non-partisan after all.

  • Well I have to say I do like the fact that Thomas spoke out about his opinions towards his country and how it is run. However, this meeting with the pres had nothing more than his country showing respect for the accomplishments that he and his team had made. Its like winning a gold medal at the Olympics, would he turn that down too?

    If he has a problem and wants to do something about it then he should speak up loud and clear and not just once. I understand where he is coming from with this. The Gov’t is put in place to do what is best for the people. Instead they do things for financial backing especially when they don’t have an opinion on a topic one way or the other. This is not doing things in the best interest of the people.

    Example: Keystone pipeline: Most anaylsts have said it will go through regardless because the size of the project and the amount of jobs and income it will create for the country as a whole is too big to ignore especially with their current economic situation. The reason for not approving this time around was to gain leverage in negotiations.

    Like I want this bill passed, if you will allow me to do it I’ll approve the keystone pipeline project.

    That is not doing what is best for the country or the people. If you need to create jobs and increase income for people and the country then this kind of thing should be approved and get the jobs rolling. Instead they choose to waste millions of dollars discussing things and never actually doing anything about it.

  • Dipstick

    I get seriously pissed off when celebrities espouse political views contrary to mine, so I have to be fair and disagree with Thomas’ stand even though I share his views.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Let’s see….

    Tim Thomas salary = $5 million/year.

    Someone in that House painted White wants to rescind George W.’s tax cut to the wealthiest Americans (because Tim Thomas, as a hockey goalie creates enormous trickle-down income and many many jobs, so it make sense).


    It wasn’t political.

  • I do admire his courage, but it’s cancelled out by his selfishness and, quite frankly, his naivete.

    It’s a selfish move to take a stand like that because it threw a wet blanket over the proceedings for the rest of his teammates, who will now have to endure questions about team chemistry for the rest of the season and playoffs (especially if the Bruins don’t win the Cup).

    And it’s a naïve move, one in which his lack of knowledge about what politics is, betrays him. To wit: “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 is all about politics. You can’t boycott a visit to the White House, and claim that it’s because the “Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.” You can’t blame the “Executive, Legislative, and Judicial” levels and claim that “This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government” without it being a political statement in black and white. To make all of those claims and citations and attempt to assert that “it’s not about politics” suggests that he doesn’t really know what politics is. That’s scary because Tim Thomas went to college.

    I also like the attempt at blaming both parties, but my guess is that he’s, at the very least, a Tea Party Republican or a libertarian. He doesn’t have to apologize for being either. And you’d have to be crazy to think that the majority of millionaire athletes, if they’re not completely a-political, aren’t at least “reflexively” conservative on a lot of points. There aren’t a lot of limousine-liberals in professional sports.

    But I’m afraid it will colour people’s opinions of him going forward. I just hope that taking this stand is worth the trouble it’s going to cause with his teammates.

  • A-Mc

    Can you imagine if it were Bush in the White house and some left wing player refused to go. Main stream media would be calling this person a star.

    Everything can be made political. This was a photo op for Obama , taking pictures with winners.

  • I think this a bold and commendable move by Tim Thomas. I say hats off to you man, we need more big name celebs to step up and speak their minds. Not that their words have more value then yours mine but because it helps draw attention to the issue. The fact that most people are unaware of the issue is stunning to me. most people only believe what they see on mainstream media and this couldn’t be further from reality. People need to be aware of what is happening, we are losing more and more rights by the day in North America, Canada is not exempt from any of this. Harper is quietly aping all of these policies and trying to push them through here. Watch the Thrive movie for the big picture.


    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Look… when you post a link that prominently touts that it has an interview with David Icke… yes this David Icke:


      I’m not inclined to pay much attention to you.

      I would – as a side note – encourage you to reflect a bit more on the “draw attention to the issue” = good thing equation. That all depends on what the “issue” is. Jenny McCarthy convincing people to stop taking vaccines and the return among some US populations of whooping cough and other communicable diseases is hardly a good thing.

  • Does anyone remember when Owen Nolan wouldn’t leave the dressing room in Toronto because the Queen was dropping the puck? If you don’t know Nolan was born in Belfast and raised in Canada. That’s a nice silent protest. No need to have a statement on your Facebook page (who does that anyways), Nolan was subtle about it.

    Im all for a good protest being the union organizer i am. I just think there is nothing political about a lunch at the White House to celebrate the team, management and city of Boston.

    Did Dave Hodge really tweet that? Wow!

  • m3sh

    Well at least wanye has made it easier to identify the bleeding heart sheeple. There is nothing wrong with standing by one’s convictions.

    Cue obligatory straw men arguments, claims of racism, etc, that the left has such a cozy relationship with.

    Good on ya TT.

      • m3sh

        I don’t particularly care for lists, just a kinda “hmmm orly?” Clearly we have differing views, i’m guessing your a dipper with classic bush derangement syndrome. Probably under 25?

        Socialism is just the religion of the state. I for one am agnostic towards all religions.

  • A-Mc

    Tambo better be on the line with the Boston GM this morning! If Boston is shamed by Thomas, Someone better tell them that the OILERS would gladly take him as their starter =D


    Pickinh up the Scraps, Picking up the Scraps. OOohhhhh the Oilers brass are Picking up the Scraps.

    TT To Edmonton! =D

  • The real scandal: Dave Hodge of TSN tweeted the “coincidence” that Thomas’ children (three of them) names all start with K (KKK). THIS is irresponsible and should not go by un-noticed.

  • Zamboni Driver

    The irony is that Tim has benefited nicely from goverment over the years. Played Collegiate hockey (government suppport of acedemic sport), played for Team USA (Hockey USA has tremendous support), and now plays in a huge American market that, presumably, has some benefits from certain levels of government.
    I, like most of us, have some considerable issues with ‘big’ government and would like to see changes made. However, we (in N America) have it pretty good and should take a step back from time to time to reflect.

  • He had the opportunity to be publicly honoured by the leader of his country and chose not to be included. He’s an idiot, plain and simple.

    He excluded himself from a team event and created a situation where he publicly embarrased his owner and quite possibly some of the fans that pay his freight. His teammates, his owner, and his fans now had to respond to this poor choice.

    Of course he has the right not to do a single thing. I have the right to do all kinds of stupid things, it doesnt mean I should be applauded for exercizing my right to be an idiot.

    The fact of the matter is that if he felt so strongly about his beliefs then he was cowardly not to appear at the White House. He should have come in person and let the most powerful man in the United States know exactly how he feels the country is better served.

    Instead, he stayed at home and pretended he was a patriot.

    • Douche Nietzsche

      Obama is not the leader of Thomas’ country, he’s like our Tambellini. You come across as more of an idiot than Thomas could ever be, disresceting him for exercising his right and opinion.

      If his team don’t like it, they can get rid of him. Attendance is not manditory.

      Cowardly? Really? What would him whispering it in Obamas ear done? Nothing. Obama has already heard enough from the occupy hippies, he don’t care. I admire what Thomas did, and I don’t think he’s a coward in any strench of imagination.

      Most powerful man? Come on buddy, get back to your Star Wars.

        • OBC'84

          Archaeologuy whats your freedom worth to you?

          Is worth a visit to the white house?

          Is worth looking bad in some peoples eyes that may not know the extent of the corruption and where it is heading?

          Why is this happening? is it good and evil or is it a stock market correction?

          Some questions all of us need to start asking because all of this as been predicted in the bible and by the way the Davinci Code was purposely made to destroy your faith in Jesus Christ and I would suggest you look into the prophecy club for they knew this was coming…

          • Dont you worry about my Faith in Jesus Christ, Aaron, that went out the window a long time ago. Dan Brown’s fiction novel wasnt needed to put that baby to rest.

            Freedoms? Do you honestly believe that Tim Thomas’ freedoms are at stake here?

            Crazy Old Arch isnt the only one unimpressed by this display of “Courage”. The owner of the Bruins is reportedly irate over this debacle.

            But seriously thou…..ARGGGGH……CLAAAAAACCCKKK….

            *Gurgling noises*

            …..Sorry, that was the chip in my brain acting up again. It was placed there in ’96 so it still has a dial up modem attached to it. Somebody must have tried to make a phone call on the wrong line…

          • Time Travelling Sean

            Always enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

            Although I think he put himself in front of his team, for his own political views. Kinda selfish, although as it has been stated 100 million times, he has the right to do so.

    • He is an idiot?

      Weak Arch. I expect better. You could have said the same thing in a better way, but to come out and call someone an idiot for doing something he has every right to do is pretty ignorant, IMO.

      Last I checked, the USA is a democracy.

      If Thomas doesn’t think meeting the president is an honour he would like to receive, who are we to call him names?

      Myself, I wouldn’t be overwhelmed if had the opportunity to meet with harper or whoever’s the PM.

      And by everyone saying he had an obligation to his team? His team has an obligation to support their teammates too. Goes both ways.

      • People are stupid. They have a right to be stupid, but it doesnt make them less stupid.

        Believe what you want. It doesnt mean you’re right. I could sing Koombaya, hold hands, and eat granola bars with everybody who thinks all ideas are created equal, but I wont. They arent all equal. You have every right to believe them and I wont argue that at all. But believing in fairies, dragons, and libertarian values is a right that the idiots inherited from smarter people.

        Thomas wasnt asked to shake hands with Putin or Pierre Maguire. He was asked to shake hands with the President of his own country. It’s his right not to go. It’s my right to call him an idiot.

        • Fair enough.

          I just don’t see why its such a big deal.

          Then again, I choose not to get involved in other countries politics.

          I’m not sure where you’re going with the fairies and dragons bit but then again, I don’t really know what Thomas’s political beliefs are. I’m not supporting his beliefs, just his right to have them.

          If he believes in dragons, fine. I don’t, but I won’t call him an idiot or stupid.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      Both would embarrass the team etc and both can be patriotic. If he is right and we find our selves with a government similar to Germany in 1939 than we will all wonder why we did not do more. If he is wrong no one will really care in a week or ten years. both carry great risk to Tim Thomas. One carries great risk for us all.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        First, any reference to Germany of the Weimar period through the War as an analogy to just about anything has to, by definition, be looked at with extreme skepticism.

        Second, I’m guessing – by your other comment:

        It may well be true that Tim thinks that Obama and the Dems are the problem but If it is true that we are becoming Germany in 1939 the only difference will be one party wanting a theocracy and the other wanting communism.

        that you are ham-fistedly referring to the elections of 1932-3… ie. when the social democrats, nazis and communists stood for election ultimately leading to Hitler’s rise to power. None of those parties were theocratic.

        And if you mean the republicans and democrats in contemporary US are theocratic and communist respectively… oh boy… i encourage you to read more. A lot more!

  • O.C.

    Meh. I admire the detest for the US politics that is creating gridlock and the distaste to a system of pampering from bribes lobbying, but that could have and should have been another time, another place.

  • O.C.

    What’s YOUR opinion Wanye? You did a good job tippy toeing on the subject but don’t share what you think. That’s the beauty with a blog vs a mainstream news article. Share your thoughts man.

  • Devolution

    Why is government too big when they try to get health care to poor people, but too small when they spend $600+ billion on defense spending, nearly more than the rest of the world combined? I’ll buy Timmy’s political convictions when he plays goal in a tri-corn hat. Hockey players and movie stars should stick to what they know. He’s a Glenn Beck fan, fer X’s sake. Fox ‘news’. Yeeks.

  • A-Mc

    What I don’t understand is people saying hockey players have no place in politics. That’s quite the close minded moronic statement. As a person who lives in a democracy, we all have the right to involve ourselves in politics. A government is nothing but an organization that represents the people.

    When the hell did USA, and Canada for that matter, become “people are for the government” – which is exactly what it is anymore.

    If Tim Thomas believes that the government now has too much power and control over their people, which I agree with, and he says these things – we’d all be calling him a hypocrite for schmoozing with these people. Get a grip people. He stood up for what he believes in. Not everyone is dumb down by all the propaganda and lies we are fed on a daily basis by the people who have enslaved us.

    • YFC Prez

      you have a valid and well put point.

      to me this was a team event and thusly he should have attented. politics aside.

      one can make effective change and challenge to government in many ways, including in protest. be wary of the protest goals and focus them accordingly. it was a photo op with the President of the USA not a declaration signing giving the great new powers to government. photo op.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Call me old-fashioned, but I would consider it a civic duty to attend the event and show some respect to the democratically-elected leader of your country.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I would also consider it Tim Thomas’ job, as a well-paid marquee player of the Boston Bruins, to play a diplomatic role for his team and for the NHL, and attend a team function such as this one.

    On that day, he failed as a US citizen and as an NHL professional. And I bet this is just sour grapes because he pays a lot in taxes on that big salary.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      First realize I am a US citizen and proud of it!I am also a Canadian Citizen and proud of it.

      Call me old fashioned, but I consider it a civic duty to show respect of Democracy by sometimes questioning the wisdom of government.

      Call me old fashioned but I consider it a virtue to risk personal income for the good of the Nation.
      On that day if he had gone to the white house because he was afraid that not going would of cost him endorsements he would of been not only a coward but a traitor. To say it is sour grapes because of high taxes on that big salary is a thinly veiled attempt to justify your position when no one knows TT real thoughts but I would suspect based on what he wrote that taxes were not the issue. I suspect Tim is worried about the fact that our Government can spy on us with no reason or justification. That soon the government if they decide to declare you a terrorist for what ever reason they choose can render you to a military prison and you have no right to a trial, a lawyer, a phone call or any thing that the constitution used to protect us from.
      I think paying high taxes is the least of his worries!

      • I dont know how worried he is about those things considering those processes were instituted and applied largely by a right wing government that he seemingly supported through donation.

        Something tells me that if a wealthy public figure with no criminal history is genuinely worried about being thrown into a secret CIA prison in Beirut then he probably shouldnt be within 50 feet of the President afterall.

        Crisis averted

        • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

          It may well be true that Tim thinks that Obama and the Dems are the problem but If it is true that we are becoming Germany in 1939 the only difference will be one party wanting a theocracy and the other wanting communism.

    • Time Travelling Sean

      You’d probably also call it a civic duty to serve for your country in unnecessary wars like Vietnam or attacking Iraq just to spread American propaganda.

      Kudos to you, puppet.

  • Devolution

    I suspect that when Tim Thomas is retired many years from now and the economy is sorted and the country didn’t melt down he will think, “Damn, would have been kind of nice to meet the President”.

  • Not surprised a Glenn Beck fan wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to disrespect Obama. But the real tragedy is anyone buying in so readily to the nonsense masquerading as “conservatism” south of the border.

    • A-Mc

      Totally Agree.

      I like how Tim Thomas worded his comments. The message was delivered clearly and didn’t read like it came from a protestor playing the victim.