Bruins goalie Tim Thomas snubs Stanley Cup party at White House
Tim Thomas declined to join his teammates at the White House this afternoon when President Obama honored the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Why? Obama's views are apparently so liberal that the Bruins star goalie simply can't stand to be in the same room with him.
Obama was honoring the six-time champion Bruins for their latest 2011 title as well as their charitable work off the ice. The Boston Bruins Foundation has donated more than $7 million to charities in New England.
Hosting the champions at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon, the president noted it has been a good sports run of late for Boston fans -- with big victories for the Celtics in 2008, the Red Sox in 2007 and the New England Patriots in 2005. Moreover, the Patriots play in next month's Super Bowl.
"...the Bruins, the Sox, the Celtics, now the Patriots. Enough already, Boston," joked the president. (See video above.)
Not in attendance, however, was the team's star goalie.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli told Sports Illustrated that he'd discussed this very scenario with Thomas in recent months and the team's star goalie was apparently always adamant: He would not attend a White House ceremony because his political views differ so dramatically from Obama's.
(Is it any wonder that the country is so politically fractured when a bunch of guys can't agree to just get together and talk sports?)
"Everyone has the right to voice their opinion," Chiarelli said. Thomas has said he plans to explain his position on his Facebook page about 6 p.m. Eastern time.
"Whatever he will say is not reflective of our organization's views or beliefs," Chiarelli told Sports Illustrated.
Reaction over at Pro Hockey Talk was mixed.
"Whatever the reason, this just makes me love TT even more. Snubbing the president... LOLz," read one comment.
"Not cool Tim, you’re an athlete not a political pundit. Just shake the President’s hand, smile for a photo and be done with it," read another.
A third commenter criticized the media for paraphrasing Thomas' reasons, and urged everyone to reserve judgment until Thomas releases his statement.
There was no reaction from the White House regarding Thomas' absence.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch