The Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins made the traditional congratulatory visit to the White House on Monday, but without star goalie Tim Thomas, who chose not to go in protest. Thomas, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of last year's playoffs, posted a statement on his Facebook page using the liberal use of capitalization you see from defenders of Liberty:
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.
It's hard to see how that isn't about politics or party, since he's clearly making a political statement, but it doesn't change the fact that the American-born goalie turned down a formal invitation from the president. Thomas' statement has earned more than 500 comments, some of them criticizing him for turning one of the White House's few truly non-partisan events into a political debate, while others are calling him a patriot for standing up for his principles. (One comment: "Only way you could be more Patriotic is if you came out and openly endorsed Ron Paul. :-)" ) Bruins president Cam Neely said in his own statement that he was "disappointed" that Tim did not join them, but won't condemn him or suspend him.
Personally, we think that no matter how you feel about any president's politics, it's a little disrespectful to turn down an invitation to the White House, but given Thomas' strong political views, perhaps that better explains John Kerry's mysterious injuries.