Tim Thomas: even when he’s wrong, he’s right


Oh, that lovable scamp Tim Thomas

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.

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6 Responses to Tim Thomas: even when he’s wrong, he’s right

  1. Zuuko says:

    The problem I have with Thomas’s action in this regard is that I view this behaviour as part of the problem, not the solution.

    Every damn thing in the US must now be politicized. It’s sad.

    • zolltan says:

      Yeah, how dare he politicize an opportunity to meet with that man who is the essence of non-politics, the president. The head of state and chief of the executive branch, a man Mitt Romney is currently running to unseat. Like, what are you even saying dude?

      • Zuuko says:

        see… this is exactly what i’m talking about. obama may be the president but when your team wins the stanley cup, take the fucking photo-op at the white house. its a non-PARTISAN event. Is it political? in a sense i guess… but fuck put the partisanship aside for one fucking minute and shake the man’s hand.

  2. zolltan says:

    It’s a political event and if you have a political point to make that you really care about then it’s pretty much the best time to make that political point. Much better than if he did it in an interview after winning the Stanley Cup, for instance – THAT is a non-political event that he would be politicizing.

    You’ve decided that a white house visit is supposed to be a non-partisan affair, but I don’t see why you think so, nor where this standard is coming from. I guess I can see people with a higher sense of decorum could be saying that not showing up at all is too strong a move and not sufficiently dignified. Obviously at some level of impropriety this is true – if Thomas showed up and made farting noises or threw tomatoes at Obama or something, I would be against it. I hope that you agree that this is a different a question than whether this is supposed to be non-partisan or apolitical.

    To go big-picture for a minute, I guess this presents the case for an apolitical, exclusively ceremonial head of state. Meeting the Governor General is NOT an inherently political act, and if someone refuses to meet the Governor General for political reasons, I can see the justification in calling them out for that. Whether this distinction is worth the expense of upkeeping a ceremonial head of state, I’m inclined to think not, but, again, an interesting question.

    • Zuuko says:

      i think the larger point is that people seem to have a complete inability to think straight and chew gum at the same time, which is very unfortunate and disheartening.

      • zolltan says:

        Your folksy aphorisms are nothing to me. Is it supposed to be people = Thomas, chewing gum = playing hockey and thinking straight = politics? ‘Cause that doesn’t make sense. I thought your (and everyone’s) whole complaint that Thomas made a political statement at all? So then that would be like saying as long as people chew gum they shouldn’t think straight, right? Uhh what… This is one where I don’t “get” what you’re getting at at all.

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