There has been a great deal of angst and dismay regarding Tim Thomas and his decision to not show up at the White House to shake hands with the Commander in Chief. My take, who cares. Apparently a lot of people do however, since many have blasted/praised the move as selfish, honorable, cowardly, brave, mature or childish. Thomas is not the first athlete to refuse to go to the White House (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/286853/20120124/tim-thomas-athletes-who-snubbed-white-house.htm) and he probably will not be the last. On a sidebar, try to ignore the absurdity for a minute of Mark Chmura refusing to attend a function at the White House because Bill Clinton fooled around with Lewinsky, and then getting busted a few years later for sexually assaulting his teenage babysitter. Let's assume that Thomas does not show up in a few years at some liberal rally or something.
So what was Thomas doing?
From 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.”
Well OK then.
I don't want to get into whether or not Thomas should have been there. After all, Presidents have a history of knowing nothing at all about hockey, just ask Steve Yzerman. Why sit and listen to a speech that is probably written by some intern from Minnesota or something, while mugging for photos and shaking hands with someone you can't stand (ask anyone whether they enjoyed being forced to shake Sean Avery’s hand after a playoff series if this is any fun. Well, don’t ask Marty Brodeur, he couldn’t tell you).
On the other hand, this is a team function and Thomas clearly is sucking all the fun out of it for his team. They stopped being the focus of a day that should have been truly memorable for them. But really, is this a big deal?
So what do you think he was doing while his team mates were putting on their flashiest suits and schmoozing with the Pres? I couldn’t help but think of an old Simpsons episode when Homer decided he was going to stop going to church. Instead, he starts sleeping in extra-late, has the house all to himself, dances in his underwear and watches football games. I hope Thomas was sitting in his red, white and blue underwear, watching the Fox news network while thanking God for his freedom of choice as an INDIVIDUAL.
I actually hope deep down inside that this in some way derails the Bruins season. I don't think it will, but since the Leafs cannot beat this team, let's just hold out hope. I also hope that some apple-pie eating red blooded American player takes a run at him. That will teach him.