Skip to content

Thomas walks out on reporters: “I have the right not to answer those questions”

Feb 9, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

Tim Thomas Getty Images

Another day, another strange turn in the Tim Thomas saga.

The day after posting another politically-charged message on his official Facebook page, the Boston Bruins goalie balked at answering questions regarding his statement before cutting off the interview and walking away from reporters.

“I’m going to use my right to remain silent,” Thomas said, courtesy’s Joe Haggerty. “You have the right to ask the questions and I have the right not to answer those questions.

“This is my job. Facebook is my personal life. If you guys don’t understand the difference between individual and job, there’s a problem.”

Thomas then said “I’m out…peace,” before ending the interview and walking away.

We highlighted this possible conundrum on PHT yesterday. The more Thomas speaks politically (and publicly), the greater the chance he’ll be asked questions about it. What’s more, the questions don’t have to be about his political leanings anymore, because this situation has entered “potential distraction” territory.

The following are all viable, hockey-related queries:

— Do you think this is a distraction for the team?

— Are your teammates supportive of you posting on Facebook?

— Has anyone within the organization spoken to you about this situation?

There’s also this to consider — the harder Thomas stonewalls reporters, the harder they’ll look elsewhere for answers. Case in point: Haggerty went to Bruins coach Claude Julien for his take on the situation.


Does it sound like Julien’s pleased about how this is playing out?

Thomas can complain all he wants about reporters asking him questions about his “personal life,” but that won’t stop the questions. Maybe the Boston media will grow tired of hearing “no comment,” but what about reporters in other markets? They’ll be sure to ask him when the Bruins are in town, and then they’ll ask his teammates and coach.

When you’re a public figure and you wade into an emotionally charged political debate, that’s the deal.

Thomas has a choice — get his message out there and become a potential distraction for the team, or don’t. If he thinks getting his message out there is worth the price, he’ll do it, and so he should. But the price will remain.

Related: Here’s Haggerty on Sportsnet Central discussing the incident.

  1. imleftcoast - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    A bully pulpit. What a clown.

    • therapist1 - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      Tim, like most Tea Bags, you have zero understanding about the issue. It’s one thing to be stupid. It’s another to be dangerous for others

      This is about health insurance.Employers, religious or otherwise, do not pay for employee health insurance plans.This is about religious run, for profit institutions, like hospitals and universities, not churches.

      Employees pay for employee health insurance plans. The employer merely mails in the employee’s money.

      It is compensation, not a gift. Part of an employee’s pay, their overall compensation, is diverted to an insurance company. The employer does the paperwork but it is the employee’s money being spent. Their pay… their compensation for doing the work.

      28 states already have these laws installed. It became law back in 2000 under Bush.The president is just making sure all states are in compliance

      No one is forcing birth control on anyone. It is an employees choice under their insurance menu

      Now you want to strip millions of women of their birth control pills they’ve been getting for years

      You are an uninformed ignoramus, like your paramour Beck

      • nhlbruins90 - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:05 AM

        I don’t want to discuss politics on a hockey forum, but I think the relevant issue is whether the Federal government should be allowed to force the Catholic Church into providing birth control and abortion services which it believes is immoral.

        I hope this doesn’t force the Church out of the business of providing social services and health care for poor people. They’ve been doing it since my ancestors inhabited the immigrant slums of Boston, and they’ve done an admirable job of it.

        I think the government is determined to be the sole provider of health care and dictating all the rules. That’s essentially what this debate is about, and its a very legitimate debate, and it won’t end anytime soon.

        Demeaning people by calling them Tea Baggers (or thereabouts) and ignorant only makes you look narrow-minded. Before calling Thomas an ignoramus, look in the mirror.

      • nhlbruins90 - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        And I should mention that I wish Thomas would keep the politics to himself and focus on hockey. This is getting very distracting to fans, so I can imagine how it must feel for his teammates.

      • verytalldad - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:01 AM

        To NHL Bruins, do your research. This would not force the Church to fund abortion services. Churches are exempted. Only universities and colleges will have to supply coverage to contraceptives. This is already in the books in 27 state- including Mass where your Bruins play.

      • verytalldad - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:01 AM

        To NHLBruins90, do your research. This would not force the Church to fund abortion services. Churches are exempted. Only universities and colleges will have to supply coverage to contraceptives. This is already in the books in 27 state- including Mass where your Bruins play.

      • verytalldad - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:08 AM

        I would also add, the Church in Boston didnt have a problem shutting down the adopting agencies when they were forced to accept gay families.

        Also, your facts are wrong about government wanting to be the sole supplier. Obamacare as the douches like to call it keep healthcare in the hands of the private companies, to the disdain of many of Obamas supporters.

        This is about a Catholic Church turning harder conservative since John Paul II passed and not adapting to modern times- which has a majority of Catholic woman using birth control

  2. Stiller43 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Never seen someone so willing to share his opinion on everything only to refuse to talk about it. If you dont wanna talk, shut up. If you want to talk, talk.

    This guys a Doucher with a capital D.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      Timmy takes very public political stances, then says they were not political and were part of his private life. He seems to think the US Founders were of like mind. Not. They had huge disagreements but made huge compromises or there’d be no USA. He then asserts his Fifth Amendment rights when queried by reporters, perhaps unaware that said amendment pertains to interrogation in legal proceedings. I recall a sketch on Saturday Night Live back in the ’70s when they urged people to “support the right to be stupid.” Go Timmy go!!!

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Go away!

  3. sknut - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    He would be better off taking the questions and answering them, then the story would go away. The longer he stonewalls the more people will ask, just meet it head on and deal with it.

    If these are your true beliefs then you should have no problem defending them and answering questions about them.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      He obviously feels strongly enough about these issues to comment on them, but why doesn’t he feel strongly enough to actually make a difference when people want to bring it to light?

      All he’s doing is putting himself on the negative level of the new tea party members. They blindly cry for freedom from oppression and follow whatever words Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter put in their heads as what should be right instead. He clearly doesn’t understand what he’s commenting on enough to put together a coherent thought, like so many the Americans that do a fine job of making the rest of the country look bad.

  4. solador78 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Thomas plead the 5th because he’s afraid of self-incrimination?

    Lol… does he remember that he also has the right to a lawyer?

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Whateva, whateva, I do what I want.

    I’m so sick of hearing about this Glenn Beck disciple. Shut up and stop some pucks.

  6. scottybcboy - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I can’t believe that anyone can read Pastor Niemoeller’s quote and have a problem with it. It is basically an anti-bullying message. Why is everyone upset? Good on you Timmy!

    • elvispocomo - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      The quote is great, but does he have any idea what it means?

      He clearly is using it in protest of the recent ruling forcing Catholic Insurance providers to make contraception available to any of the people it covers. If he feels that was such an injustice, why not disagree with the government’s ability to regulate that rather than try and equate it to Nazi-era Germany and the Holocaust?

      • solador78 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        The Vatican and the Nazis were both actively involved in eugenics.

        Isn’t that a form of birth control??!??!

      • scottybcboy - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        First they came for people who wouldn’t go to the White House, but I went to the House so I didn’t say anything. Then they came for me……..

      • solador78 - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        If the White House was located in Richmond Virginia, Thomas would have been there in full grand wizard regalia to pay tribute to Jefferson Davis.

      • imleftcoast - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        It’s true that the Pope used to celebrate Hitler’s birthday:

        On April 20, 1939, Archbishop Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. The celebrations, initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) became a tradition. Each April 20, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin was to send “warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany” and added with “fervent prayers which the Catholics of Germany are sending to heaven on their altars.”

        (Source: Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell)

    • wethog66 - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:41 AM


      Seriously? Did you happen to notice the year in that date you posted? 1939? News flash kid, a lot of people celebrated Hitler’s birthday in the 1930’s. Some did it because they wanted to, but a lot did it because they had to. Pull your head out of your ass. Hitler has no place in this discussion.

  7. elvispocomo - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Once again, saying lots without saying anything. It all starts with a non-specific comment that suggests he has issues he wants to support, yet he won’t comment directly on them or clarify why he fels they were worth commenting on in the first place. That doesn’t gain attention to what could be possible issues worth supporting, that only gains attention to yourself.

    With the White House visit, it can only be assumed that was a knock on Obama (and Democrats in general) and Obama’s policies rather than an indictment of government as a whole. With the Catholic support, one can only assume he’s against the recent ruling forcing the Insurance arm of the Catholic Church to make contraceptives available.

    In either case, he never explicitly stated as much, but he’s happy enough to let us read between the lines.

    Tough luck for you, Timmy, when you get asked about it after. If you didn’t realize that would happen after your first ‘personal’ foray, then you won’t get any sympathy for doing it again a few weeks later (not that you did the first time).

  8. xxshookonexx - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    If it doesn’t pertain to hockey (he’s a hockey player you know), why the hell should have to answer to sports reporters about his opinion…it would only, in essence feed the awful media who want to take his answers out of context and create more stories…then we can see 50 more posts about this on PHT. No thanks.

    Was sick of the White House story after seeing it so many times, please don’t run with this non-story about another person’s opinion. It’s boring and not about hockey.

    • kitshky - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Actually all PHT is doing is showing us how the Boston media is covering it …

    • elvispocomo - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      As a hockey player, you’re also a public figure. It’s a sport, but it’s also entertainment and that’s why teams can afford to pay players millions of dollars in salary. If no one cared about the entertainment value of hockey, we wouldn’t pay to see games and Thomas could make all the comments he wanted to without so much as a peep after.

      As such, he has a much larger audience for his personal views (one of these days he’ll actually clarify what those are for us) and that generates questions in response. If it doesn’t matter what he thinks then why post it publicly on his fan page? Why not on his personal FB (assuming he has one) for only his friends to see?

      I would like to think he’s not a stupid man, but if he expected anything different to result from this, especially after his White House snub, then he clearly is lacking in ability to draw consequences from his actions.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        From what I’ve seen, lacking the ability to foresee the consequences from his actions is common among the people who are as far right as Thomas is.

      • crazemastercraze - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        “consequence” only comes into a right wingers vocabulary if you don’t agree with them 100%.

  9. buffalomafia - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Why beat a dead horse?

    • elvispocomo - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Maybe someone should ask Thomas that question…

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      It could kick you.

  10. grillmarks - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    What a total loser… sure, people are entitled to their own beliefs. But when you’re a celebrity and people listen to what you say, or post on your Facebook, you know your asinine comments will get attention… and you should know people will ask you questions about it.

    He has handled this media business like an immature child. I used to laugh when I saw his Discover commercial… now when I see it I’m reminded Tim Thomas is a complete d-bag with no back bone.

    Oh and nice job stopping pucks last night in Buffalo, by the way, Timmy.

  11. goalieguy37 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    All I really have to say is that since Tim Thomas, who’s one of my favorite athletes ever, decided to make political statements in large public audiences this year, the bruins haven’t been consistent.
    None of these political opinions has to do anything with hockey. right.
    But when you start turning the public against your team with issues that have nothing to do with hockey, your hurting your team. you see it on the scoreboard.
    Tim, doesn’t this seem counter productive? if your goal is winning games….Leave the politics aside until the off season so you and your team can focus on kicking ass.

  12. michiganhockey11 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    He’s going to completely alienate his teamates whether they say they support him or not. Running your mouth and not being willing to listen to or answer questions is like the guy that complains about politicians and doesn’t vote.

    • solador78 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      According to Deadspin, Tim Thomas hasn’t voted in years.

      • michiganhockey11 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        solador78, are you jerking my chain or is that somewhat factual?

        I find it hard to believe that Tim couldn’t find a conservative candidate to vote for. There’s lots of them out there.

        If he doesn’t vote, he has no right (metaphorically at least) to run his mouth.

      • solador78 - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        [quote]markdelleman – Feb 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM
        Not sure how credible this article is but if true does not make TT look very good again!

      • imleftcoast - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        He’s not even registered to vote? Jaw-dropping.

  13. trbowman - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Tim Thomas is the man.

    Hilarious how people are getting butthurt over this mess, lol.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      You people all say Thomas has every right to say what he wants and express his opinion. Well guess what, we have that same right.

      • pasthunter - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM

        1943mrmojorisin1971, You are absolutely correct that You have the same right as Tim Thomas to “say what he wants and express his opinion.” That’s what is one of the things that makes this country so incredible and wonderful. Personally, whether I agree with Thomas or not, I really don’t care what his personal opinions are politically any more than I care what Barbra Streisand or Jane Fonda, Abby Hoffman, or any other “politically correct” celebrity believes. Their opinion is of no more valuable and should be no more influential than the unknown guy across the street or any other “normal” person.
        I am quite certain, personally, that had Tim Thomas gone to the White House and gushed over the President and then posted opinions which boasted ultra-liberal views rather than his conservative beliefs, he would have been lauded as a great American and patriot, rather than the right-wing extremist jerk that the press has been promoting him to be.
        If Tim Thomas posts and you don’t like what he’s said in the past then just don’t read his postings. The press should do the same. As has been expressed by several in this “comments” section, stick to questions about hockey. That, apparently, is what Thomas desires. I’m certain he’ll answer all their questions then!

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:38 AM

        Whether or not I have a problem with his comments is irrelevant. The problem is that he’s using his status as a pro hockey player to gain an audience for his comments but then acting like they’re nobody’s business. He thinks questioning him about comments he made publicly is infringing on his personal life. To me and many others that just makes him look bad.

  14. habsman - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    It’s too bad Tim Thomas’ parents didn’t exercise their right to use contraception.

    • drewzducks - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Can’t believe you found the time to post. Shouldn’t you be praying for a playoff spot?

    • drewzducks - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Down here we’re actually praying for Thomas to STFU.

    • gu144 - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      Let’s see, “habsman” must be a Montreal fan, so who cares what you think anyway. Stick to French, then it won’t bother you when Timmy posts his comments in English.

  15. dgs2012 - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    This is an interesting topic. Thomas has his right to talk, write, and do whatever … but perhaps he should focus more on the game of hockey than publicizing his opinions.

    I agree that he can do what he wants, but when you put something out on a public forum such as FB or Twitter, then the public/media has a right to get some answers regarding your comments. It’s not private anymore.

    It will soon blow over, I’d imagine.

  16. sillysporty - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Thomas is an asshole shut your mouth and play already

  17. drewsylvania - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Timmy, if you don’t want to answer questions about it, don’t talk about it. Facebook is his personal life? He needs to educate himself on the concept of status updates.

  18. baddorange - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Screw you so called reporters. Ask him questions about hockey. Facebook is personal and screw you liberals that can’t figure that out.

    • grillmarks - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      I love when people use the word liberal as an insult. It really shows their intelligence.

    • imleftcoast - Feb 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      What you can’t figure out: (1) his Facebook page is public (it could be private, but it’s not) and (2) he wants to preach but not answer questions. Liberals and other fans of logic call that, “trying to have it both ways.”

    • bikey1277 - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      The Official Tim Thomas page on facebook is personal ??? How come I can see it? I’m not his friend or a family member. I don’t know him personally.

    • wethog66 - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM


      I didn’t notice a similar comment from you at the beginning of this comment section denounced that tool that used “TeaBaggers”. Or is that ok in your opinion?

  19. baddorange - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Ask him questions about hockey. Facebook is personal and screw you liberals that can’t figure that out.

  20. tetraultm - Feb 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    It’s funny, I don’t remember too many people being bent out of shape when James Harrison of the Steelers skipped the White House visit after they won the Super Bowl or when former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter created a stir before that White House visit by saying he intended to tell Bush he didn’t like how the country was being run. Porter chose not to make those comments, but he wore dark sunglasses throughout the ceremony. Athletes from all sports have always had opinions about politics and whether or not we agree or disagree with them, they are entitled to their own opinions. If a sports reporter asks an athlete a non sports related question, wtf is the difference if they choose not to answer it. People have short memories, if it wasn’t for Thomas, the Bruins would still be without a Stanley Cup championship. This is why people hate Boston fans, they support their teams and players until it’s not the popular thing to do. And in case your wondering, I am a Bruins fan and I voted for Obama.

    • pasthunter - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      tetraultm, EXCELLENT!!!!! Well said and right on the mark!!!! Thanks!!!

    • iluvthebruins - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      Tetraultm, I don’t get it. Boston got the Stanley Cup not exclusively, but mostly, because of Tim Thomas’s MVP performance in the playoffs. I can understand writers who make a living exploiting controversy because their newspaper profit is based on circulation. But why would a TRUE Bruins fans turn on the guy who may hold the key to repeating? What comes through loud and clear is these are not fans crying about hockey but politicos who watch a game now and then on NESN because it’s free. Politicos who first and foremost support free speech as long as everyone is saying what they want to hear. What arrogance? I’ve got news, that’s not free speech that’s a form of oligarchy.

      Is Facebook a serious publication? I don’t think so. It is casual media that allows you to show pictures of the family or your dog, play games, say what you have been up to or even express an opinion. It is not the New England Journal of Medicine, where great discoveries are announced and counter research can be published. Get real, no one has to defend their pictures of their dog on facebook or an opinion. Anyone who expects it is a fool! And when they demand it, they show the world their ignorance.

      Tim Thomas is certainly entitled to his opinion about the direction the country has moved in the last 3 years. If you looked beyond your myopic vision at the rest of the country, you might actually see he has company, quite a bit. In fact didn’t Massachusetts voters just replace the most liberal seat in the Senate with a non liberal. Tim didn’t sign with Boston to vote but to play hockey.

      Why was Tim Thomas the only Bruins player to reject the invitation? How about – he is the only full time member of the Bruins who is actually a voting AMERICAN citizen, while the others are technically guests of the country. It took strength of conviction and old fashioned guts to stand alone. And that is his right as an American Citizen which you should support. Piling on is easy. I wonder how many of you critics would have the courage to stand alone.

      Only a fool would wish Tim Thomas away and certainly not a fan looking for a repeat of the Stanley Cup. He is in exceptional condition and in todays market a bargain for what he brings the team at 5 million. If you want to see anther 1st round exit, just trade him to the 1st team the Bruins play.

      As for team chemistry and the locker room, those guys in there are a lot smarter than you and the writers who see this as a big story. Trouble with too many so call Boston sports fans is they don’t deserve teams like the Bruins. Go Bruins!!!

  21. crazemastercraze - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Is he trying to emulate an attention starved 14 year old girl? Starting to wonder if this guy has a cock and balls between those legs of his (hers?)….

  22. 8man - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Today was the announcement of the next Winter Classic and once again talk of Thomas’ political views are dominating the conversation. Who cares? Why do they even ask him these questions?

    What was wrong with, “Well Tim, the Sabres blew you guys off the ice last night. Any reason for the flaccid effort or did they do something different?”

  23. tommytd - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I had a lot of respect for Tim Thomas but I’m starting to think he’s a bit full of himself. If you don’t want to answer questions…don’t entertain questions! How hard is that to figure out?

  24. bikey1277 - Feb 9, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    He needs to get a PR consultant. Maybe he/she can clean up this mess.

  25. stanleycup2012 - Feb 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Great goalie, but a fool. Does he not realize that no one will care what his personal comments are when he retires soon! He is becoming a major distraction and that is not helping his team. Stop pucks and shut up, or be a man and answer questions.

  26. cprtrain - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    This guy is like all the other Tea Bags……..just an idiot who knows nothing about politics or freedom. He is anti government and probably belongs to a right wing malitia trying to destroy America.

    He’ll be out of the NHL within a year as a loser.

    Not the brightest bulb in the string.

  27. jwilly32 - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Can we please get rid of this guy before he causes any more distractions? We are sub-500 since he “heroically” refused to shake the hand of our Commander in Chief. He will be a free agent soon. Rask is strong. Get something for him while we can, before he opens up his mouth again and further confirms how much of a loonie he really is.

    Please sign my petition to trade him:

    • gu144 - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      You obviously are not a TRUE Bruins fan if you want to get rid of the Stanley Cup MVP, and the best goalie in the NHL just because you don’t agree with his political comments….and as for your “commander in chief” theory, Obama is in cahoots with the Wall Street bankers, and doesn’t give a crap about you.

      • espnhater - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        First off Jimmy Howard is better than Tim Thomas, second Mitt Romney really doesn’t care about you. He is a business man turned politician, why because he has the money already now he just wants the power.

  28. espnhater - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Doesn’t Tim Thomas know facebook is anything but private. Once something is on the net it’s for the public to know. Either Thomas is very dumb and doesn’t know what he’s doing or he likes the attention

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1696)
  2. P. Kane (1317)
  3. S. Matthias (1178)
  4. D. Carcillo (1066)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (1045)