Thomas a no-show at White House, releases statement
WASHINGTON -- Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas declined to attend the White House ceremony with President Barack Obama honoring the team for its 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.
"I know you're all wicked happy to be here," President Obama greeted the Bruins.
But not all were there. The MVP was missing as President Obama praised his performance.
A team spokesman said in an email statement that Thomas opted not to attend the event. Thomas later posted a statement on his Facebook page saying,
"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"
The veteran goaltender helped lead the Bruins to their sixth Stanley Cup and was named the MVP of last year's playoffs. Thomas was among the players that Obama singled out for praise during a ceremony honoring the club in the East Room of the White House.
Bruins fans had mixed feelings about Thomas' absence.
"I think it's trite. I mean, it's the President of the United States. How dare you refuse an honor like that," said one man.
"It's his choice. I'm disappointed, but it's his choice," said another man.
Thomas is a Flint, Mich. native who played college hockey at the University of Vermont.
(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)