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Old Jan 23, 2012, 11:04 PM   #1
leekohler
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Tim Thomas is ruining hockey with politics

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Originally Posted by Queen of Spades View Post
Champion Bruins meeting President Obama today.

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My favorite Bruin is now my least favorite. You stand with your brothers, no matter what. Tim Thomas, you were once my favorite goaltender and I watched you with admiration, but once you injected politics into the game, you had to go.

Just a note- as a hockey player myself: If my team won the cup during the Bush years, I would go to the White House. I would not have said a word against Bush then. Why? Because it's a game and an honor to be invited, no matter what your political stripe. You go, you support your brothers, and you share the Cup with the country.

If you have political differences with the President, bring them up later and as vocally as you want, but not in relation to the Cup. The Cup belongs to us all, no matter what your politics. Thomas has shamed hockey. I was shocked by this, because Thomas has always been one of my faves, even though he's a Bruin. Trust me, that's saying a lot.

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Tim Thomas, the most valuable player in last year’s playoffs, declined to visit the White House on Monday with the rest of the members of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Thomas released a statement Monday evening:

“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.”
Douchebag. You're ruining sports by injecting your political beliefs into them. Then by refusing to take questions or clarifying yourself, making it worse. Sports should NEVER be about politics. There are Canadians on your team, who probably despise American politics more than you, but they went to the White House, and have for years, no matter their politics, Bush, Obama or whoever!

http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/20...e-house-visit/

You're a goalie, and a damn good one. Stop trying to be a politician. Sports should be about uniting people, not dividing them. Shame on you, Tim Thomas, for doing this to the game.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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I was wondering if someone was going to post about this or not. I do think it's another example of sports and politics shouldn't mix because people's reactions have been all wrong to it.

He doesn't say anything about having anything against Obama's presidency. He accuses the entire federal government for being at fault. That's a Democratic Executive, a mixed Legislative branch, and a more conservative Judicial branch.

Each side of the aisle is at fault for stripping away more freedoms by the year (hello NDAA?). I think he should've just gone though. I mean at least he could've gone through the White House and done some cool things. Could've maybe given someone his thoughts in person too if he felt so inclined.

Edit: Just noticed you have a different source from what I saw. The original story I saw with his Facebook release was less clear on partisan neutrality.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malman89 View Post
I was wondering if someone was going to post about this or not. I do think it's another example of sports and politics shouldn't mix because people's reactions have been all wrong to it.

He doesn't say anything about having anything against Obama's presidency. He accuses the entire federal government for being at fault. That's a Democratic Executive, a mixed Legislative branch, and a more conservative Judicial branch.

Each side of the aisle is at fault for stripping away more freedoms by the year (hello NDAA?). I think he should've just gone though. I mean at least he could've gone through the White House and done some cool things. Could've maybe given someone his thoughts in person too if he felt so inclined.

Edit: Just noticed you have a different source from what I saw. The original story I saw with his Facebook release was less clear on partisan neutrality.
Maybe I missed something but, was he visiting the entire federal government, or the White House?

Either way, the bottom line is that he should not be injecting his political views into this. He should stand with his team, period. If he can't, then he should go be a politician instead of a goalie, or express his views in other arenas besides sports. Sports are sports, not politics.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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What I didn't like about it, was the hypocrisy of it. TT states "..This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country.” But he chose the opportunity to make a political statement on Facebook. Really TT? If it isn't about politics, why the statement on politics? If it really wasn't about politics, he could have simply excused himself for "personal reasons" and said nothing.

I also agree with Lee, that this is an opportunity to represent your team. It is a tradition that has been done historically, and players go. They go regardless of whether or not they support that President, that Presidents political party, the US Government in general, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to make political statements outside of that opportunity, even if you choose a forum like FB or Twitter to do it.

I just don't feel that was the time or place to decide you suddenly want to try to spur "Occupy Center Ice"
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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I don't know, I don't really see the big deal here. What if it were an athlete who refused to show up during the Bush administration because he was anti-war? Or a gay athlete who refused Obama because of his stance on gay marriage?
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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I don't know, I don't really see the big deal here. What if it were an athlete who refused to show up during the Bush administration because he was anti-war? Or a gay athlete who refused Obama because of his stance on gay marriage?
Why not simply go out of respect to your team and your fans, and make your feelings about Bush, War, Obama, whatever known at other times?

Do you think every athlete who visited the White House when Bush was in office supported Bush, his policies, his politics? Hardly. Likely about as split as players on the teams who visit Obama in the White House. Most understand this isn't about Politics and Policy and put it aside for the moment.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:33 AM   #7
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Arise, the Tim Tebow of hockey. Have you met your Broadway dance partner, Cynthia, yet?

And dissing the office of POTUS is decidedly tacky, for an individual that was a linchpin to a team effort.

Respect the position, if not the man currently there.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDColorado View Post
Why not simply go out of respect to your team and your fans, and make your feelings about Bush, War, Obama, whatever known at other times?

Do you think every athlete who visited the White House when Bush was in office supported Bush, his policies, his politics? Hardly. Likely about as split as players on the teams who visit Obama in the White House. Most understand this isn't about Politics and Policy and put it aside for the moment.
Like I said, I don't see the big deal. And these photo ops with athletes are certainly about politics.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
I don't know, I don't really see the big deal here. What if it were an athlete who refused to show up during the Bush administration because he was anti-war? Or a gay athlete who refused Obama because of his stance on gay marriage?
It would be exactly the same. I have already stated that if it were me during the Bush administration, I would have gone. It's not about one person, but the team. It was a crappy thing for Thomas to do, period.

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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
Like I said, I don't see the big deal. And these photo ops with athletes are certainly about politics.
If he really didn't want to make it political, all he had to do was not go and say nothing.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:52 AM   #10
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The team that wins the cup gets an opportunity to go to the white house and meet the President. The winner gets a reward that very, very few people get an opportunity to do. Tim Thomas had a chance to see a place and meet someone very, very few people can, and he threw away that priceless opportunity. Seems pretty dumb if you ask me, but then again, he is a hockey player (edit - I must clarify, he is a goalie; all he needs to know is stand here and stop the puck). Right, Lee?
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:52 AM   #11
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Like I said, I don't see the big deal. And these photo ops with athletes are certainly about politics.
Would you find it a big deal if next year, 3 players chose not to go, the year after that 6 decided not to make the trip? 12 the year after that? Maybe it isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I find it sad, and more than a little selfish and self centered.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SDColorado View Post
Would you find it a big deal if next year, 3 players chose not to go, the year after that 6 decided not to make the trip? 12 the year after that? Maybe it isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I find it sad, and more than a little selfish and self centered.
Exactly- it was totally selfish.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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Politics not only ruins hockey, it also manages to ruin everything else.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:57 AM   #14
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The team that wins the cup gets an opportunity to go to the white house and meet the President. The winner gets a reward that very, very few people get an opportunity to do. Tim Thomas had a chance to see a place and meet someone very, very few people can, and he threw away that priceless opportunity. Seems pretty dumb if you ask me, but then again, he is a hockey player (edit - I must clarify, he is a goalie; all he needs to know is stand here and stop the puck). Right, Lee?
Agreed. I have a friend who is a photographer. During the Bush administration, he had the opportunity to photograph President and Mrs. Bush. Despite the fact that he liked almost nothing to do with Mr. Bush and the Bush administration, he was extremely excited by the opportunity and of course took it. I met him when taking some photo classes from him and some folks asked him why he was so excited about having the opportunity to photograph the President, if he didn't agree with any of his policies and politics. I am am paraphrasing here, but the response was along the lines of "It's the President of the United States, how often does someone get the chance to meet and photograph the President of the United States."
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:01 AM   #15
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As the president/office of the presidency is the official representation of our country, in a way he is dissing the U.S.A. as a whole. You may not respect the person in office, or the workings of the federal government, but respect the honor bestowed upon you by the country.

You know, the country that allows you to play a game and make millions of dollars.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SDColorado View Post
Would you find it a big deal if next year, 3 players chose not to go, the year after that 6 decided not to make the trip? 12 the year after that? Maybe it isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I find it sad, and more than a little selfish and self centered.

Frankly, I wouldn't care if the White House ended the stupid practice.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:08 AM   #17
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Frankly, I wouldn't care if the White House ended the stupid practice.
Excellent point. Couldn't agree more. I've never understood this near-religious tradition.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:10 AM   #18
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Excellent point. Couldn't agree more. I've never understood this near-religious tradition.
It's for the team. The President is doing what he can to honor the team for its outstanding performance. If you end the practice, what's the piont of playing, a big silver cup?
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:11 AM   #19
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You know, the country that allows you to play a game and make millions of dollars.
Why is 'the country' bothering with all this stuff anyway? Someone managed to hit/throw/kick a ball/puck at a net/goal/hoop slightly better than someone else whilst people watched. Big whoop! Playing sports I understand- fun, healthy, social interaction. But supporting, watching and sending sportsmen to political events I just don't get. Guess you got to keep the proles content somehow...
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:13 AM   #20
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Why is 'the country' bothering with all this stuff anyway? Someone managed to hit/throw/kick a ball/puck at a net/goal/hoop slightly better than someone else whilst people watched. Big whoop! Playing sports I understand- fun, healthy, social interaction. But supporting, watching and sending sportsmen to political events I just don't get. Guess you got to keep the proles content somehow...
It's not a political event. It's no different than when friend of mine got an award form President Clinton for making a PSA about drug addiction. That was not political either. This is the same. Thomas DECIDED to make it political. That's what's s****y.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:15 AM   #21
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Excellent point. Couldn't agree more. I've never understood this near-religious tradition.
The fact that it happens 7 months after they won the cup shows you how important this is.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:26 AM   #22
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It's for the team.
So what? Doesn't make the tradition right.

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The President is doing what he can to honor the team for its outstanding performance.
Tim Thomas is not stopping the President from "doing what he can to honor the team." It appears Thomas did not ask Obama not to do it, nor did he ask teammates not to go. And in the book of things a President can do to "honor" a team, I'm guessing there are additional and different ways to show respect for an accomplishment.

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If you end the practice, what's the piont of playing, a big silver cup?
To win.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:27 AM   #23
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Here's a good article from the Christian Science Monitor, of all places:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politic...litic-politics

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So what? Doesn't make the tradition right.



Tim Thomas is not stopping the President from "doing what he can to honor the team." It appears Thomas did not ask Obama not to do it, nor did he ask teammates not to go. And in the book of things a President can do to "honor" a team, I'm guessing there are additional and different ways to show respect for an accomplishment.



To win.

Bottom line- Tim Thomas decided to take an event that was supposed to honor his team and make it about him and his political views. That's not cool.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 11:02 AM   #24
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ESPN did a decent article on the subject as well...

"On Monday, Thomas instead chose to represent himself.

The reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe winner skipped the White House ceremony, deciding to use a special moment for the organization, the team and its fans to voice his displeasure with the U.S. government."

Tim Thomas put himself above team
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 11:14 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by eawmp1 View Post
As the president/office of the presidency is the official representation of our country, in a way he is dissing the U.S.A. as a whole. You may not respect the person in office, or the workings of the federal government, but respect the honor bestowed upon you by the country.
Nice rephrasing of my earlier post.

PS: Holy Crap. I am now 604. Another year older. <sigh>
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