Congratulating the Boston Bruins on the 2011 Stanley Cup championship, President Barack Obama welcomed the team, with one notable omission, to the White House.
Goaltender Tim Thomas, the team's linchpin and only the second American player ever to win playoff MVP, having posted two shutouts in the Final, skipped the event.
Thomas said months ago he would not attend due to political and ideological differences with the Obama administration, and he stayed true to his word yesterday.
Bruins team president Cam Neely said he could've forced Tim Thomas to go, but did not do so, and feels the decision was Thomas' and the team honors his choice.
"Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us," said Neely. "We certainly would have liked to have him but that's his choice."
"All the guys came except for Tim. It's his decision and his choice."While his politics aren't common knowledge among many fans, Thomas hasn't hidden his leanings as an unabashed Glenn Beck fan and "true Tea Party patriot."
On the one hand, when the President asks you to visit the White House event, shouldn't you just go, regardless of political differences with the administration?
On the other hand, should Thomas be praised - whether you agree with his views or not - for using a unique moment to make a political statement of his own?
Thomas will no doubt lose a lot of supporters over this, but you have to at least respect an athlete who uses his fame or influence for something he believes in.
Right? Tell us if we're on point or off the mark in the comments.