Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Tim Thomas: patriot or poser?
(photoshopping by Josie Gold)
There's a time and a place for everything, and yesterday at the White House was neither the time nor the place for Tim Thomas to be conspicuous by his absence.
The reigning NHL playoff MVP declined to join his Boston teammates on a visit to Executive Mansion at the invitation of US President Barack Obama, who honored the Bruins for their 2011 Stanley Cup championship. Thomas released a statement saying his decision to skip the White House visit had nothing to do with politics or party, but was an individual choice by a free citizen concerned that the American federal government is out of control to the point of threatening fundamental rights and liberties.
As an avowed right wing patriot, it's disingenuous of Thomas to say that a deliberate snub of Obama, who's a Democrat, was not politically-motivated. Thomas doesn't have to respect the man, but as an American citizen, he should respect the office, because it still represents everything Thomas claims to hold dear about his country. And how does he reconcile representing the US at the Olympics but declining to visit the White House if his motives were not political?
Politics aside, yesterday was a team function, and Thomas disrespected and embarrassed his teammates on an international stage. He was selfish, immature and hypocritical in a scenario that called for common decency, decorum and solidarity.
President Obama's got bigger fish to fry. He's probably already over the snub, if it bothered him in the first place. It might linger a little longer among the Bruins, who had what should have been a happy, once-in-a-lifetime experience tainted by someone who put himself ahead of the team.