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Former State Democrat to Thomas: “Stick to hockey”

Jan 24, 2012, 12:08 PM EDT

Tim Thomas Getty Images

The firestorm started by Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas yesterday continues to burn, as angry Democrats are now speaking out about the snub.

Those criticizing Thomas for skipping the Bruins’ White House visit include former Massachusetts Democratic chairman Philip Johnston, who served under President Clinton.

“My advice to him is to stick to hockey,” Johnston told the Boston Herald. “I think Bruins players are taken seriously for their hockey, not for their politics.”

Also joining in was Kevin Franck, current spokesman and communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

“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 [Osama] bin Laden,” he said.

Those in the pro-Thomas camp are pointing out the reigning Conn Smythe winner isn’t the first professional athlete to skip the celebratory garden party.

In 1996, Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura balked on meeting President Clinton; Steelers linebacker James Harrison skipped out in 2006 (President Bush) and 2009 (President Obama) and, most recently, former Bears lineman Dan Hampton opted not to attend the 25th anniversary of Chicago’s 1986 Super Bowl because he was “not a fan of the guy in the White House.”

  1. madtolive5 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Anyone who knows MA politics knows that if most of the guys in power stuck to politics they wouldn’t be in jail.
    Philip Johnston needs to shut his mouth.

    • mjbulls45 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      what a grimey ‘stache this guys got,

      he can “stick to robbing americans of their money” ,

      I loved what Thomas did,

      he even said it wasn’t party affiliated ,

      thomas has some moxy , i tell u that , and i admire him for that ,in the US , u
      have that right,

      yes, u have the right to politely decline an invitation to the white house, for WHATEVER reason u choose,

      w/o having someone disrespecting the Bruins saying , ” they are taken seriously for their hockey” – so what r u saying ? they should NOT be taken seriously for everything in REAL life and outside the game?

      so their views should not be taken seriously?

      come on now, even you POLITICIANS dont even take politics seriously , ha ,

      bc if u did , then Tim Thomas would have attended yesterday : )

  2. Ralphie - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    “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 [Osama] bin Laden,” said Kevin Franck, spokesman and communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

    So were the shooters from Seal Team 6 at the White House yesterday for the ceremony?

    • dougr42 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      BOOM

    • howiehandles - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Just love it when Democrats and Republicans spin it back to rile up the lowest common denominator. (not a shot at you).

      Surprised they didn’t throw in god, and apple pie too.

    • barkar942 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      My sentiments exactly! What a self-serving statement for a politician to make, and what a slap in the face to the real heroes who took down Bin Laden!

  3. iluvwikileaks - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Timmy is unAmerican. Traitor!!

    • howiehandles - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Apparently you don’t understand the definition of traitor.

  4. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    you said it wikileaks. that timmy thomas is a commie. he should burn in mexico for that

    • cowboys282 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      Commie? lol Tim Thomas was standing up against the socialist welfare state this country has become.

      What Tim Thomas did was more American than anything you will ever do. You don’t understand liberty. All these trolls attacking Thomas are against Freedom. Why don’t you want to live in a free country?

      The only Anti Americans are the socialists attacking Thomas for standing up for Freedom and Liberty. Think for yourself people and stop being brainwashed.

      • elmoreleonard26 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        i think you might have missed a joke there cowboy. take it easy. also, maybe ol’ poonslayer just got back from iraq or something, thats pretty american. dont assume because someone tells a joke on a message board that theyre being brainwashed

  5. howiehandles - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Good for him. I’m not a fan of the Bruins, but good to see his sticking up for what he believes in. Politicians are only in it for themselves, the PACs, the corporations who ‘donate’ to them, and then their country. They’re the equivalent of used car salesmen, but worse.

    Being an American is not going, just because everyone else is going, or because he’s the President. It’s standing up for what you believe in, and freedom of expression. It’s not necessarily an indictment of the current regime, but politicians in general, both sides (his words).

  6. richie500 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Tim Thomas is one of those DBAG right wingers that claims he loves America and then turns around and slaps America in the face by not showing up for the honor of going to the White House, ( The American People’s House) regardless of what party is in office!!
    How out of touch with being American can you be?
    He’s a loser and I don’t want him to represent ALL Americans at the Olympics!

    • howiehandles - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      That’s right, war, recession, crooked politicians. Where do I sign up? If you’re so blind to believe that politicians care what we think, I’ve got some stuff on Craigslist to sell you.

    • hystoracle - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      That should be “TBAG” right wingers.

    • curtiswheatley - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      How exactly is it that Mr. Thomas is a DBAG. I guess Geaorge Washington was a DBAG too? What about Ben Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. I guess they are all DBAGS too, because they went against the crowd, and decided to stand up for what they believe in. Oh but I guess they knew about politics right, wait no they didnt, there were no politics here then. It was a monarchy rule, wow, so someone who knew nothing about Politics, but wanted a better life stood up did something, and now you have the right to call someone else a DBAG for it, ya, your right “Tim Thomas” is a dbag, a dbag with a Stanley Cup, oh im sorry what does that say on YOUR cup, oh “SOLO”, how nice.

      The simple fact that anyone can criticize someone for standing up for what they believe in shows that they are a coward and a follower, I am assuming that you have never stood up for anything you believed in?! I guess I am going to go ahead and become a “commie” like Tim Thomas, because if the vast majority of people see nothing wrong with our current situation and feel that ANY act that could be viedwed AGAINST our government is considered treason. This country needs to go the way of the Mayans, and get lost now.

  7. thesublimeylimey - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    I believe it was one of your founding fathers that said:

    “Sir, I disagree with what you said, but I would give my life for your right to say it”.

    I don’t see what’s so shocking about Tim’s actions. I think people like to get worked up about nothing. Besides, at least he’s got the courage to stand up for what he believes, whether that’s right or wrong is beside the point.

    • The Baseball Gods - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Just because somebody makes a stand against something doesn’t mean that nobody can criticize him about his decision. He had every right to not go to the White House and meet the President, but we as Americans also have every right to criticize him about doing it.

    • terminalcityhockey - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      (It was Voltaire, actually…)

  8. acieu - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Mr douchebag Tim Thomas

  9. The Baseball Gods - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    I think it says a lot about some of the people in this country when on a professional hockey team of 23 players where there are only 2 American born players, one of the 2 American born players decides to turn down an invite to the White House to shake hands and meet the President of the United States of America. In the meantime, every one of the other players on the team attended the “honor”. This means that all 21 players who were not even born in the United States did not deny the invite, but 1 of 2 Americans did deny the invite. Great way to show how much we love our country to the International community!

  10. elmoreleonard26 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    i wish that these comments were about the real issue. the fact that a goalie whos been in the league for as long as tim thomas, represented America in the olympics, and won a stanley cup just a year ago on a team that played fantastic team hockey, would be stupid enough to do something like this. Stupid meaning hes hurting his hockey club. He knew the reaction this move would get, and on a day that was supposed to celebrate the Bruins, he railroaded his teammates by not showing up and making the issue about himself and his political beliefs.

    Did Thomas have every right to not show up? Absolutely, James Harrison did this and im sure others before him. More power to them for standing up for their belifs, but Thomas should’ve stuck with his team. Hockey is a sport that values team above almost everything, and Thomas neglected that. He should’ve sucked it up and enjoyed a free trip to the White House, he didn’t have to play with the presidents balls or anything.

    FLINT MICHIGAN STAND UP

  11. elmoreleonard26 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Quick should be the starter at the olympics

  12. barryblogs - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Tim Thomas doesn’t just say he can’t go, but makes a political statement about it. Give me a break, America is about democracy and you have to respect the President of the United States, elected by the people.
    Trade him to a Canadian team. What an embarrassment to the Boston Bruins.

    • florida727 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Not quite as bad as the kind of embarrassment you are to PHT.

  13. vshehane - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Where was all the indignation when Nick Saban didn’t go to the White House to meet President Bush? At least Tim Thomas had the pucks to say why he wasn’t going and didn’t make up some lame excuse.

  14. pastabelly - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Phil Johnston is a twit and part of the Democratic machine in MA politics. His allegiance is purely to the Democratic Party and he would be cheering on Thomas if there were a Republican president. He should have better things to worry about than Tim Thomas not showing up at the White House. I thought his full time job was badmouthing Scott Brown.

  15. florida727 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    “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 [Osama] bin Laden,” he said.
    —————————————————————
    Wonder if any of the guys from Seal Team Six were there to shake Bruin players’ hands. Last I checked, Obama did nothing but agree to the assault. He didn’t train for it. He didn’t collect intel for it. He didn’t plan it. And he sure as hell didn’t carry out the mission. Pretty easy to sit in an office and say, “yeah, go ahead”, when the target is the most wanted person on the face of the earth.

    BTW, “vshehane”, couldn’t agree more. At least Thomas spoke his mind and didn’t care about the backlash. I applaud him… especially because all his comments about where this country is going under Barry are true.

  16. workn4daman - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I would gladly take him on my Canadiens team, but we have Carey Price, so we really don’t need him.

    Go ahead and trade him and watch the Bruins return to the league doormat that they were for 40 years before he saved their sorry arses.

    “My advice to him is to stick to hockey,” Johnston told the Boston Herald” – Um, that’s what he did, but that seems to have gotten Johnston and a bunch of other liberal idiot’s panties in a knot.

    • vshehane - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Liberals love being victims.

  17. sharks123 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    How dare he exercise his rights as a citizen. Pathetic.
    People get so hurt by peoples opinions. Stop whining and grow a pair.

  18. bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Typical lame move by yet another Mass-hole. Johnston or Thomas…take your pick.

  19. t16rich - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Who really gives a crap, but he should make his opinions more known so this isnt such a curve ball to everyone. If Thomas has such a political opinion, he should let it be heard more often, instead of just picking his spots when there will be a major spotlight on him.

  20. imleftcoast - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Stick to hockey. That’s good advice for Marchand, Lucic, Julien and Chiarelli as well.

  21. donttazemebro - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    funny how we tout America as being a place to express your rights and when we do we are ripped apart for it.Freedom of Expression….as long as everyone agrees with it.

  22. charlutes - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Sorry Johnston, real people with intelligent thoughts are exactly who should be more vocal about you corrupt politicians. Lying your face off to advance your career doesn’t make u an authority on anything.
    Here’s an honest guy peacefully excersising freedom of speech, not out of racism but a specific and very understandable belief.

    you don’t get to shout down Timmy Thomas to score some points with your polo buddies.

    I’m with you Timmy. ignore the cretins in this world who want to shout you down.

  23. iamtiredwitheverything - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I’ve read all the comments and all I can say is “never underestimate the stupidity of the American public”

  24. ajsjr40 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    What an idiot. The CIA and Navy SEALS found Osama.

  25. drewzducks - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    And the two partisan hacks quoted in the article should “stick to turning Massachusetts into a laughingstock welfare state”

  26. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    When did Thomas get to shake the hand of the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden?

  27. ndrdog - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    “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 [Osama] bin Laden,” he said.
    —————————————————————
    Wonder if any of the guys from Seal Team Six were there to shake Bruin players’ hands. Last I checked, Obama did nothing but agree to the assault. He didn’t train for it. He didn’t collect intel for it. He didn’t plan it. And he sure as hell didn’t carry out the mission. Pretty easy to sit in an office and say, “yeah, go ahead”, when the target is the most wanted person on the face of the earth.

    FYI – President Obama had to overrule two other people to give the go ahead for the mission on Osama bin Laden and he made the call to send the second chopper which, it turned out, became mission critical for the return of the soldiers. I seem to remember a former President saying something about “Dead or Alive” and than going on vacation for six or seven years. In the month of February 2010 the Obama administration caught more Taliban Leaders that Bush/Cheney did in six years, in fact over 90% of the leaders of the Taliban have been captured or killed since President Obama took office. Seal Team Six only killed one man, as far as we know.

    These are all facts. Plain and simple facts. I don’t know if Timmy Thomas ever served in the military, oh yea, he was too busy playing hockey. I also don’t know how many of you expect the sitting President to go out on military missions himself. I hate to bust your bubble but President George W. Bush wasn’t really a cowboy. He was born in Maine and he rented his cattle. Gilligan wasn’t really stuck on that island either. Just because you act a certain way doesn’t mean that it is reality. Saying that you know and understand the Constitution doesn’t mean that you do.

  28. 1historian - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    “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 Osama bin Laden,”, quoth a Massachusetts democrat.

    1) Do you think that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ might have been used to find him?

    2) Thanking Obama for getting OBL is like going into McDonald’s and thanking Ronald McDonald for the hamburger instead of the guy who cooked it.

    Call him stupid if you want but at least he was smart enough to know that he was being used – and didn’t let them do it.

  29. Jeff - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Obama didn’t get Osama. Navy Seals did.

  30. andyreidisfat - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Here’s the real deal. If your jumping up and down applauding Thomas because he some how stood up to the “socialist” Obama you are seriously misinformed. Obama is the least socialist president we have ever had. I am not going to all the examples but you have google, really look at what they have done and not what limbaugh said he did and you quite clearly see Obama is a wall street corporatist and nothing more.

    So if mr Thomas is really upset with the problems of this nation and thinks both parties are silly and the whole structure needs reform then I am ok with him not going. But if he is not going because Obama is a “socialist” or a “kenyan” or some completely made up cover to allow white people to say out loud he’s an n word. If that’s his only reason he needs a tin foil hat and he can donate to the frauds at infowars.

    I hate Obama because he a republican. So I find it very hard to believe you hate him because he is a socialist.

  31. acieu - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    This little unpatriotic penis was beat last night?

  32. flyersfandave - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Bla Bla Bla who really f in cares. Big deal he doesn’t like the president. Politics blow. Thomas has a right to do whatever the hell he wants, for that reason alone he should be thankful. He would have been shot already if he was in Russia or some other back assed country.

  33. norcalirish - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Tim Thomas is what’s up.

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