Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 1/24/12
It might have been Tim Thomas' right as a citizen to skip a White House appearance Monday during which President Barack Obama honored the Boston Bruins for winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. But when Thomas finally released a statement explaining himself, he lost most of his credibility. In the third paragraph of that four-paragraph statement, the Bruins goalie wrote: "This was not about politics." Yet in the opening two paragraphs of that same statement, he wrote: "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." Were going out on a limb here and suggesting that those two paragraphs are all about politics. Its one thing to exercise your rights. Its another to exercise them well. Thomas execution didnt even approach the level of play he has turned in the past few seasons for the Bruins, which makes you wonder if he has a well-thought-out opinion on the topic. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Thomas would not be suspended for skipping a team function, but that doesn't stop the Bruins from levying some form of internal punishment that might never go public. Team president Cam Neely made his feelings plain on Thomas' decision in his own statement: "As an organization, we were honored by President Obama's invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team's achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. "We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject." By skipping the White House event, Thomas clearly missed the point of the function, which was to celebrate the team's accomplishment. But heres another thought to chew on: What message does it send to Bruins fans, especially children, when one of their heroes wont meet with another man, face to face, because of perceived differences? Arent we supposed to teach our kids to talk through their problems, to accept differences, to respect others and try to work through disagreements with dialogue? Unfortunately, Thomas chose to make a figurative statement by skipping Mondays anything-but-political event. Then he followed it up with a real statement. Both made him look and sound foolish.
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