The Boston Bruins went to the White House to meet President Obama and celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup championship yesterday— shorthanded.
Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas snubbed the meet-and-greet with Obama and later issued a statement on his Facebook page citing his reasons for snubbing the President of the United States at the traditional ceremony.
"I believe the federal government ha grown out of control," he stated, "threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people."
Call it Unoccupy White House.
The Internet lit up with polarized opinions about Thomas' political views and defiant stance at the expense of the entire team.
The Bruins president, Cam Neely, tried to distance the team from Thomas without alienating the playoff MVP.
"We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization," said Neely.
Thomas— born in Flint, Mich. and an outspoken Tea Party member— said he blames both political parties for the nation's woes and had been at odds with the Bruins about attending the fete for a while.
"The Federal government has grown out of control threatening the Rights, Liberties and Property of the People," for that reason he stated, "I exercised my right as a free citizen. This is not about politics or party, as in my opinion, both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country."
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he had been trying for months to convince Thomas to attend with the rest of the team, but that it still didn't happen.
Even though the event was an honor for the entire team, a lot of the attention was centered on Thomas.
President Obama didn't seem miffed by the slight and even singled out the absent Thomas to congratulate the goalie on his playoff exploits.
"Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals," he said. "He set an all-time record for saves in postseason."
Thomas is only the second U.S. player to win the playoff MVP.
Yesterday was the Boston Bruins turn to bask in the national spotlight for what they accomplished as a team and Thomas took the opportunity to turn it into a personal political statement.
Call him disrespectful, unprofessional, selfish or just plain honest, Thomas got his point across— no matter who he disappointed or pleased in his wake.
It's his right as a citizen in this country to voice his opinion— whether it be declining an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or camping out and banging drums in a city park.