Conn Smythe Trophy Winner Tim Thomas Stays Clear of White House Celebration
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog defends Bruins’ star goalie Tim Thomas for refusing to join his teammates and President Obama to celebrate last year’s Stanley Cup triumph.
My take: Good on Thomas.
Good on Thomas for using this moment — where a professional sports team participates in what’s both an honor for its accomplishments and a political photo opportunity — to make a political statement of his own.
It’s the moment when Thomas will no doubt lose a lot of supporters, for sure, when they realize an athlete they celebrate has stark political differences than they have. He’s not the first nor the last athlete to choose not to visit the White House.
It’s a moment in which a professional athlete uses his fame, his influence for something he believes in, and does something that won’t be popular among fans or media. Sean Avery did the same thing: Potentially alienating his teammates by taking a political stand on gay marriage.
If he’s celebrated and Thomas is demonized, what does that say about our real tolerance of free speech? That it’s only free when we agree with it?
(And for the “separation of politics and hockey” crowd — that flies out the window when you agree to be a backdrop to a speech in an election year. Or any year.)