Column: Don’t Hate Tim Thomas

By Brittany Burke

It’s no surprise that the Boston Bruins travelled to the White House this past week to celebrate their Stanley Cup win President Obama, in fact it’s pretty fair to say it’s tradition. Winning a professional championship and visiting the President nearly go hand in hand.

What did come as a surprise to a lot of people is the fact that Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas chose to skip the meet and greet, which he has said he would do for months.

Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s general manager said in interviews that they’ve tried to convince Thomas to go and enjoy the time with the team, especially since he was one of the most crucial players during the Stanley Cup run, but Thomas stood his ground and personally I think he did the right thing.

I don’t mind that Thomas chose not to go and no one else should either and to be honest I was probably more upset that the President chose to call Brad Marchand a “little ball of hate” than I was not to see number 30 standing in for the press photo op.

James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers refused twice to go to the White House twice, so Thomas is far from the first and he probably won’t be the last.

In fact I like that Thomas opted not to go, if he feels so strongly about his political views then so be it. He has just as much right to refuse to take part in the event as I do to write this column. Some may look at him differently now for declining to meet President Obama, but I’m proud to know that a member of the team I root for is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right.

On the other side of things I can’t help but want to say, who cares? Sure, I love reading about how the players go to hospitals and different charity events off the ice, but any fan will tell you, what a player does on the ice or field is the most important.

All I care about is whether or not Thomas continues to play well and put up good numbers so the team doesn’t have to completely rely on Tuukka Rask. I would’ve been more upset if the team decided to suspend him for missing a team event, which thankfully they’re choosing not to do.

If he’s not penalized by his team then he shouldn’t be penalized by the public either. Take his decision for what you will, but meeting the President or not meeting him doesn’t change what kind of player he really is.