On Monday, President Barack Obama welcomed the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins to the White House. As is customary with the winners of the country's four major sports championships, the president outlined the team's accomplishments in a speech, celebrating outstanding players in their pursuits both in sports and as citizens.
One particularly popular Bruin was missing at the White House, though—goalie Tim Thomas, who was the Stanley Cup MVP last season.
Thomas, one of only two Americans on the team's Stanley Cup-winning roster, explained his absence in a statement released yesterday on his Facebook:
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
Obama singled Thomas out for praise during his remarks.
"This Stanley Cup was won by defense as much as by offense," Obama said. "[Thomas] set an all-time record for saves in the postseason and he also earned the honor of being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup playoff's MVP," he continued. He made no mention of Thomas's conspicuous absence.
The AP reports that the Bruins were disappointed that their star goalie did not attend "a great day" with the president. "We are disappointed that Thomas chose not to join us," Bruins president Cam Neely said, explaining that Thomas's views don't reflect those of the team owners or organization.