Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas did not attend his team’s ceremonial trip to the White House today because of his ideological differences with the current administration, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed to Yahoo! that Thomas did not attend the event on due to his political beliefs, and that he had been made aware of Thomas’s decision several months ago.
"He chose not to come. The reasons behind it I think he'll make the media aware through his Facebook," Chiarelli said.
"I can require someone to attend a team event," Chiarelli told Yahoo! "If they don't, I can suspend him. But I'm not going to suspend Tim. Whatever his position is isn't representative of the Boston Bruins or my own. But I'm not going to suspend him."
Thomas was a major part of the Bruins Stanley Cup victory last season, and became just the second American player to win the playoff MVP award after he posted two shutouts in the finals. The 37-year-old has posted a 20-9-0 record this season with a 2.12 goals against average.
Update (6:45 p.m.): Thomas has released a statement about his decision, which is below:
"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"