You might think that I would be unlikely to support Tim Thomas (him being a known Bruin and a newly discovered right-wing nutjob). But I do. First, Tim Thomas is different from most Bruins in that he’s not punking anyone: he actually just is the best goalie. He’s also kinda nuts, but whatever, sometimes you gotta be nuts to be good. And the thing is, does anyone normally care about sports players’ opinions on things outside sports (well, and the universe, if you’re talking Bryz)? Generally, not really, though maybe even at that level people care more than they should.
So, like Tim Thomas has a political opinion, obviously, and normally he has no real way to get everyone talking about it. But when Obama invites him to the White House he does: he can get people to care by simply not going. So he uses the chance. Seems reasonable to me.
All the people talking about respect are wrong. A president isn’t a king – he needn’t command deference. A president invites you, you don’t want to show up – then don’t. Building up a president into this figure that must automatically command deference is not the democratic thing to do, not the American thing to do, and not the right thing to do. All the people saying he sold out his team are also wrong. Like oh what a distraction that now people are talking about Thomas instead of how the team visited the White House. As if anyone would be talking about the Bruins visiting the White House otherwise. Didn’t think so. And letting down his team? Dude kinda won them the cup, so maybe cut him some slack. Kaberle is like front-and-centre in all the White House photos, and he didn’t do shit for the team. There’s no correlation between usefulness to the team and White House photo-ops and no one is dumb enough to claim otherwise. So skipping a photo-op is just not the same as letting down the team.
Now, it’s not like I don’t think Thomas’ political opinion isn’t stupid. It is. But how many people have stupid political opinions? Tons of ’em! And how many are getting away with it without the flak Tim Thomas is getting? Almost all of them! Well, also Thomas’ statement about his non-attendance was kinda bizarre, I can’t say it made much sense. But whatever, we already stipulated he’s nuts right at the start.