President Barack Obama honored the Boston Bruins at the White House on Monday for winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. But one of the most important pieces to their championship team, Stanley Cup MVP Tim Thomas, was not in attendance.
Why? According to Yahoo! hockey blog Puck Daddy, Thomas told Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli months ago that he would not attend due to his political differences with Obama.
"He chose not to show up," Chiarelli told the Boston Herald. "I believe he is doing a statement later. The reasons behind this, I believe he will make known in his statement. That's all I can tell you right now."
Chiarelli explained that he could have required Thomas to attend -- in which case he would be able to suspend him for not going -- but he chose not to. Despite his refusal to participate in the ceremony, Obama commended Thomas for being only the second American player to win the Stanley Cup Finals MVP.
The all-star goaltender certainly isn't the first athlete to skip out on a White House visit. Back in September when Obama belatedly hosted the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears at the White House, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Dan Hampton refused to go because he's "not a fan of the guy in the White House."
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison skipped both of his team's recent visits to the White House after they won the Super Bowl in 2006 and 2009.
UPDATE 6:45 PM: Tim Thomas issued a statement via his Facebook page addressing his decision not to attend the ceremony honoring the Boston Bruins.
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.
This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT