Athletes, celebrities, and politicians are usually very disappointing people the more you know about them or hear from them. So it came as a great surprise and pleasure to see that one of my favorite hockey players is actually an articulate defender of a free society and not just the great guardian of the Bruins’ goal mouth. Moreover, he appears to be a man who is willing to make a personal sacrifice for his principles.
In case you haven’t heard, Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas did not participate in the team’s visit to the White House in honor of their Stanley Cup victory in 2011. The reason he declined the invitation is that he apparently did not want to show any support for a Federal government that he believes has been responsible for injuring and threatening our liberty and wanted to make a statement about that danger. Here is what he said about his decision:
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.
My guess is that he – like most Americans – would have enjoyed visiting the White House and seeing a place of such importance to our country’s history. But he was willing to sacrifice a personal pleasure in order to avoid complicity with what he regards as a public bane and take a stand for his beliefs. Gotta love that and dare say many of us would not have foregone such a rare chance. Plus, I enjoy Thomas’ stress on his INDIVIDUALism, his inclusion of property in his list of threatened ends, and his sound reflection that the blame for these threats is shared by both parties and not merely the current resident of the White House.
And the argument that some have made that not attending was disrespectful of the President/Presidency and unpatriotic is baloney. The President must earn our respect and is not someone of royalty whom we ought to put on a pedestal and obey when he asks us to visit. And what could be more in the spirit of the founding patriots than figuratively spitting in the eye of what you believe to be a threat to liberty? Remember, the founding generation of patriots were radicals for freedom who were willing to go to great lengths at places like Lexington and Concord to defend their liberties. Surely, an appropriately peaceful demonstration of concern for our liberties is hardly unpatriotic and far less radical or threatening than what the Founders chose to do.
Here’s to TT and I hope he’ll hoist another Stanley Cup over his head in 2012.