Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 1/24/12

Missing from today's White House ceremony was Tim Thomas, as you may already have heard. The choice he made was personal and political. And for a team that prides itself so very much on the idea of team and unity and sticking up for each other his choice was unconscionable.

This isn't political. I actually agree with the majority of Thomas' statement on his Facebook page:

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.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic.

This is about the idea I was conveying in my earlier post about what differentiates hockey from other sports. A hockey player's reputation is the coin of the rink. And that reputation is earned by defending and standing by your mates.

He may keep a messy locker. His shower shoes might be infested with the nastiest fungus known to mankind. He may be an unholy terror. But when you take the ice by his side, you take his part. Unless, he's committed an act of utmost disrespect to himself and his teammates. In that case alone, all bets are off.

And standing by your team means doing so, even if you disagree with the person or institution honoring and paying them respect.

Thomas' feelings are not wrong. One's truly held convictions are one's own and as such not subject to my or anyone else's second guessing. Nor is this to say to suggest he shouldn't adhere to that which he believes. He should and so should we all hold near and true to that which we believe is just and right.

Just that the choice he made is one that took attention away from his team, that elevated him above his teammates. Even with the hardware he earned last year, he did not earn that privilege.

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This article first appeared on Puck Drunk Love and was syndicated with permission.

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