David Moulton: Bruins goalie put politics above teammates in White House snub

David Moulton

David Moulton

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas had every right to do what he did.

But that doesn’t make what he did right.

The Boston Bruins were honored at the White House on Monday afternoon for winning the Stanley Cup last June. It was the Bruins’ first Cup in 39 years.

Thomas was the standout goalie on that team. He was the only current team member not to show up for the ceremony. Two former teammates who have retired since June made the trip. One of the two former teammates who is now with another team made the trip (the other former teammate couldn’t because of travel).

Making it appear worse is that Thomas is also one of only two Americans on that championship team.

But Thomas did not break any team rules because the Bruins did not make the trip mandatory (maybe because they didn’t think they had to).

However, once word spread that Thomas had no intention of going, general manager Peter Chiarelli tried convincing him to change his mind. When Thomas stuck to his decision the organization and all of his teammates essentially said, “We don’t have his back on this one, so you talk to him.”

Thomas posted a statement on 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 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.”

Tim, we should take you at your word, that this was not done as a specific protest of this president but as a protest of the government as a whole. Fine. But how can you say “this was not about politics?”

It was all about politics!

Because if it was about being a good teammate, you would have gone. If it was about representing your organization, you would have gone.

You put them in an awkward spot when the president rightly made note of your spectacular play during the playoffs, “and (Tim Thomas) earned the honor of being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.”

Tim, no one should question your patriotism. You are a proud American and have represented this nation in international competition many times over the years. You are admired as a well-spoken, educated and very thoughtful man.

Which is what makes what you did all the more stupefying.

Monday afternoon was about the Boston Bruins, not Tim Thomas. You put yourself above the team. You injected politics where it didn’t belong.

In other words, you did exactly what you are criticizing those in government of doing.

Tim, you were wrong. You don’t owe the president anything, but you do owe your teammates and the organization an apology.

Hopefully if you win another Cup (and considering this team looks better than last year’s) next time you’ll go to the White House.

Because as you know there is no “I” in team.

But there is one in ill-timed, misguided, stupid, selfish, idiotic and mistake.

If nothing else, you certainly highlighted the one in Tim Thomas.

David Moulton is a freelance writer and co-host of “Miller and Moulton in the Afternoon,” which airs weekdays 2 to 7 p.m. on WWCN/AM 770 ESPN. His column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 12

freedomrings writes:

Way to go Tim Thomas.

AYHSMB writes:

If the Bruins played on the same level as those in Washington there would be no need to invite them to the White House in the first place.

28Croydon writes:

Just a comment on your column today. Where were you when Abby Wambach refused to go to the White House when Bush was there?? The soccer team were the champs and she did not go because she and her family hated Bush. At least Thomas tried to spread it around and be PC. Your column comes across as political!!By the way - we are from Rochester and know this to be the case.

moe1961 writes:

You are just a Boston hater

derrina1 writes:

The president was honoring the Bruins not the other way around. Also, this guy chose to hide rather than speak face to face with the president. What an opportunity to make your voice heard. Just more disrespect from the right towards the sitting president.
Amy was wrong, so was Theo (twice).

Beachtowel writes:

The Masshole should have gone

eichler1#254806 writes:

David,Tim did the right thing if that is his beliefs...You & Miller do it everyday on your radio show...you let your thoughts go and if any one disagrees they are made fun of.

boyomcgill writes:

Tim Thomas is a hero. Give him the Nobel Peace Prize not someone who has disgraced the Presidency!!!!

mrfuni writes:

Sorry Dave, can,t agree with you on this one. Good for him to stand up for his beliefs. Maybe if more did that our country wouldn't,t be in the mess it is.

volochine writes:

Tim Thomas is a goalie. Anyone who has played any hockey...pond hockey, rat ice, high school, college knows goalies are wierd. It takes a different type of individual to be a goalie. Recently Tim Thomas has been a sieve, but his team has bailed him out with a great offense. He needs his rest....for his body and his brain.

With goalies those are 2 separate entities.

crazyjoedivola1 (Inactive) writes:

He should have sent a kid from the neighborhood in his place, someone who would have appreciated meeting the President and seeing the White House.

lemonjello writes:

He should have gone. Respect the POTUS as a position. I agree Obama is a dunce, but he still should have gone.

I still have a house in Peabody he can stay for free if he gets fired!

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