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What they’re saying about Tim Thomas’ White House snub

Jan 23, 2012, 10:55 PM EDT

Normally the White House trip is a nice formality and photo op, but Tim Thomas‘ decision not to go has the hockey world talking. Here’s a collection of supportive, snarky and serious reactions to his political move:

Seriously critical’s Joe Haggerty:

source:  Yahoo’s Ryan Lambert:


Former NHL general manager Craig Button:


Damien Cox doesn’t pull punches:

source:  Supportive

Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski believes that Thomas shouldn’t be demonized:

It’s a moment in which a professional athlete uses his fame, his influence for something he believes in, and does something that won’t be popular among fans or media. Sean Avery did the same thing: Potentially alienating his teammates by taking a political stand on gay marriage.

If he’s celebrated and Thomas is demonized, what does that say about our real tolerance of free speech? That it’s only free when we agree with it?

ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy:


The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell:

As sports fans and members of the media, all we ever ask is that the people who play the games have a mind of their own and don’t conduct themselves like mindless automatons. Too often we are disappointed. So when one of them uses his position of celebrity to express his opinion, we should be celebrating it. This is not Michael Moore saying “Shame on you, George Bush,” at the Academy Awards or the Dixie Chicks calling Bush a moron – which are both entirely acceptable as well, but far more controversial. This was a very thoughtful, articulate and pensive athlete respectfully declining an invitation.


Pass it to Bulis:

source:  Down Goes Brown:

source:  Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika:


  1. blomfeld - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM


    I like Tim Thomas as a hockey player, but snubbing the president like this was misguided and extremely naive. People should think back to election night in November of 2008 and the situation we were in then. Sure it seemed like a wonderful evening, with Obama claiming the presidency and promising us all a fresh start. In reality however, it was essentially the equivalent of someone being promoted to Captain of the Titanic one hour “after” hitting the iceberg ! The cards were stacked against Obama from the very start and I for one am utterly amazed that we’re even still afloat ! Think what would have happened if government spending had been frozen and all the massive corporations and banks (ie: employers) were left to die ungainly deaths on their own ? .. social upheaval ? .. massive unemployment ? .. anarchy ? .. class war ? … at least Obama has tried his best to avert what is probably now inevitable anyway …

    I’m sorry Tim Thomas, as you were very “cool” last spring when you really “gave it” to the Sisters and that Italian “tire pumper” … but on this one you’re dead wrong ! If you want to make a statement against “them” then go and call out the members of the Bilderberg Group, the Rothschilds, the Schlumbergs or the Illuminati. Don’t take it out on the decent “well-meaning” man who is Barack Obama …

    • finfan88shark - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      Yeah the situation was much worse in Nov 2008 LOL! How the liberals spin things. Yeah Obama and his liberal cronies have tried to make this country into Canada with socialized medicine, and class envoy.

      • tridecagon - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:48 AM

        Just because FOX told you something different doesn’t mean it’s the liberals who are doing the spinning. Try checking some facts. Like, actual ones. You won’t find them on Hannity.

      • blomfeld - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:43 AM

        “Yeah the situation was much worse in Nov 2008” …

        Yes, I suppose that’s true … just as it’s true the car was in much better shape in the seconds leading up to it’s impact with the wall. The bottom line is that Obama has done his best to avert the “disaster in the making” which he inherited from his predecessor … and no, that isn’t a shot at good ole Dubya there. Like Obama, Bush was only a “figurehead” with very limited influence on real or actual events. The real culprits for the calamity which is unfolding today will never reveal themselves to the public … at least not by their own volition. Instead, they hide behind their wealth like the “rats” which they are and continue to exploit, manipulate and leverage for profit. I understand the sentiments behind Tim Thomas’s actions, even though I wish he hadn’t done this to President Obama. However, it would have made far more sense for him to call out the directors of Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan Chase …

      • imleftcoast - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Remember when George Bush said he wasn’t even looking for Osama bin Laden? Yeah? STFU LOL

    • braddavery - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      Since when is Obama a liberal.

  2. drewsylvania - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    More naked trolling by the writers of this site.

    • laurely515 - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM

      With the GOP Primary Debate on NBC tonight, maybe they were just trying to get people fired up enough to watch it. One story about it today would have been fine, but five stories just seems excessive.

  3. bostonsfullofrats - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Fuck boston!
    Least classiest team to ever play hockey

  4. bcisleman - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    I don’t share Tim’s political views. Although I am a Republican, I support the President. I am glad that we live in countries (I am an American living in Canada) where people are free even to disrespect the leader of our country whether President Obama or Prime Minister Harper.

    With that said, this was very low class. Presidents of both parties have done this for years. I guarantee you that some athletes with progressive views have attended such events in Republican White Houses. It’s not about politics. It’s about the President of the United States inviting a championship team to the White House on behalf of the American people to honor them for their accomplishments. And if Tim wanted a platform for his views, what better place than the White House?

  5. rinkman1 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Thomas’ decision to skip the White House visit was a poor decision and cast a negative impression of how selfish our “role model athletes” have become. He truly disrespected the office of the president and the USA. Would his parents be proud of this decision? No class and I have lost all respect for him. Not showing up is how a coward protests.

  6. tessax3 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    It’s sad that we’re not talking about the day the bruins as a team had. Instead we’re talking about Thomas which takes away from his team. I understand him standing up for whatever he believes in but now this becomes a distraction since his teammates will be bombarded with all these questions about his absence. set you’re differences aside and take a stand at some other point.

  7. trbowman - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Tim Thomas is that dude.

    lol @ the people butthurt about this.

    • trbowman - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      Seriously, now I want to buy a Tim Thomas jersey, just because of this.

  8. cowboys282 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    So sad that Tim will now be vilified for standing up for what he believes. Amazes me the power the media has in this country. And all the sheep will follow and repeat the same lines as the media writes.

    Scary times we live in. And if anyone didn’t notice it isn’t Tim Thomas making this into a big deal. It’s the media. But at least all future NHL stars will now be scared into never standing up for what they believe. Instead they will all continue to give the same robotic responses when interviewed. Only the media is allowed to tell us what to think. Not sports players lol.

    • trbowman - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      Too true.

      Reminds me of when BSPN sensationalized James Harrison’s decision not to go to the White House (laughably, nobody cared when he declined when Bush was president).

      • cowboys282 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        Right that’s so true. He skipped it twice. I barely remember him skipping it with Bush in 06 even though he did. But in 09 they made a big deal about it. Now with Thomas they are making a bigger deal.

        Why don’t people just respect the fact that maybe Timmy Thomas didn’t appreciate Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans passing a law on December 31 2011 called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 H.R. 1540

        Maybe Tim Thomas wants to live in a country where the people are free. I know I do. I don’t get these people who don’t want to live in a free country. What’s so bad about being free?

  9. cakrywyj - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    So, it’s an outrage when the media “tells people what to think” but not when a guy paid to get in front of pucks does? Oh, not to mention said athlete is fortunate enough to live in a country where that kind of occupation even exists. I’ll agree people who form opinions based solely on media coverage are fools, but bigger fools form them by listening to whatever an athlete has to say.

    • cowboys282 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      If anyone changes there views because of what Tim Thomas did today thats silly.

      But if him doing this wakes just one American up to whats going on in this country than all power to him.

      Just remember Tim did not ask this to be made into a huge news story. He made one brief statement about why he did not attend. But as evidenced by this post plenty of media outlets have run this story and added thier own opinions hence making the story news.

      And plenty of countries have the occupation of Hockey player. And I bet they don’t tax those hockey players as much. And if he was a Hockey player in Canada he would be a lot more fortunate in the bank.

  10. finfan88shark - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Makes me really want to go the Sharks- Bruins game in San Jose, and give Thomas a Standing ovation. Guarantee if this same thing happened if Bush was president, the liberal media would stand up and call Thomas a Hero, and it would be front page news. But since the Media’s guy is in all you will hear will be negative about Thomas.

  11. cakrywyj - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Well, if Tim didn’t think that with the way media works in 2012 that something like this would fly under the radar… He might win both the Vezina and Most Naive Human Being on Earth in the same year. And what is the difference between someone changing their opinions based on what he did and someone “waking up” to America’s situation because of it? Either way, the opinion is being formed as a result of an athletes stance.. Which, to me, is just as bad if not worse than doing the same due to media opinion..

    Many countries do have professional athletes…but there are many that don’t. Must be nice to be taxed so much here in America but still be a millionaire huh? Please don’t paint the guy as a martyr… He plays a game and he’s in a better financial position than a vast majority of people in this country.

  12. salmon90 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    This has been blown way out of proportion – no surprise. I have no problem with what Thomas did – in fact I applaud him for being an individual. He obviously has some strong views and he stood up for them. Good for him. I thought he explained himself well in his letter as well. Nonsense talking about all this disrespecting BS. I’m sure Obama has some more pressing things to worry about than a hockey goalie not coming to the White House.

    • salmon90 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      Oh and I’m sorry to all the American readers out there who had to be introduced to Damien Cox in the article…if you hadn’t already

  13. bostonsfullofrats - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    cant we all just come to the conclusion that boston sucks and move on?

  14. arbruins - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    Good one full of rats, you must be the spawn of Habsman!
    I agree with what Thomas did, he has the balls to stand up for what he believes is wrong, he did not jump on a soap box to do so…the media did that for him.

  15. blacksabbathrulesall - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    Who cares really?
    It’s his choice.

  16. pastabelly - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    I’m a Bruins fan who thinks this is just a selfish move and disrespectful of his teammates.

  17. newhampshirepatriot - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Mr Obama is an employee of the American people, not their king. I support Tim Thomas for being an individual and not a mindless lemming.

  18. buffalomafia - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Who cares! Its his choice! The Republicans have a bunch of knuckleheads running & Obama cant get shit done?

    Dont worry about Thomas! Worry about the Chinese planning an attack on us cause we are very vulnerable now?

    The Chinese have built a aircraft carrier & is building up there Navy!

    Dont forget they are teaming with the Russians, Koreans. Iranians & maybe India?

    Go Bruins beat the Canadiens!

    • habsman - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Interesting to see that you’re just as concerned about beating the Habs as you are with possibly beating the Chinese, Russians, Koreans, Iranians and Indians.

      Very impressive.

  19. pastabelly - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Certainly takes the focus off of the five goals he gave up to the Flyers on Sunday.

    It also takes the focus off of the Patriots AFC Championship win a day earlier and early Super Bowl talk. That’s why this is a bit selfish. It’s a team even. You show up. No political statements either way needed to be made. He certainly could have called a press conference afterwards to explain that he went because it was a team event and that he does not support the US government.

    The Bruins won’t suspend Thomas. But if he skipped this event in Washington, Claude should skip him tonight in Washington and go With Tuuka.

    • back2backbees - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      I believe its Tuuka’s turn tonight anyway, and I doubt Claude gives a crap about Timmy T missing the side show. Stopping goals is the reason they pay him, period.

  20. randygnyc - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Not a hockey fan at all. Mostly because as an American, I’m unfamiliar with it. Also because of it’s lack of diversity.

    But Tim Thomas is my new hero. I’m a major adversary to this presidents agenda/policies. I not only support Tim’s White House protest, I’m glad it’s received so much attention. This president is a criminal, IMO and should be impeached and prosecuted for treason (on many counts, the most recent was the unconstitutional/illegal “recess” appointments while congress was still in session)

    • habsman - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Well it’s easy to see you’re not a hockey fan.

      They have been playing hockey in the US for about a hundred years now. And players in the NHL come from all over the globe in all shapes, sizes, colors and ethnic backgrounds.

      And based on your statement “This president is a criminal….” perhaps it’s best that you retreat back into your ignorance inre hockey and stay there.

  21. ymann19 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Why didn’t anyone bitch about Albert Pujols and Tony Larussa skipping the Whitehouse after they won the World Series!

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