Goalies have always been a little crazy, that’s a known fact. Hell, I always think of Dallas players sharing stories of a naked Eddie Belfour lying on the dressing room floor doing meditation exercises, when I hear about how goalies are ‘one man armies’. They’re the kind of players that you expect to get along really well with Phil Jackson and his peyote retreats. That being said, there aren’t many goalies that make headlines for off ice activities, they’re already seen as slightly quirky, and some of them tie themselves off from the media, every chance they get, so visibility isn’t really there.
Now, Tim Thomas did the opposite, he decided not to attend the White House honouring a Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup last year. He did so, stating in a statement on Facebook (I thought college girls just poked each other on there), for personal reasons, citing that the government was too involved in the people’s affairs. Now, with a democratic government, it’s pretty well expected that he’s going to be made fun of, and poked at by all sorts of media and personalities, but is it really justified? Well, the answer is complicated. Muhammed Ali, has been lauded for his political and social involvement just as much as his boxing record, which is saying a heck of a lot. Hell, some see, Ali as a face for civil rights more than as a boxer. Steve Nash raised eyebrows when he spoke out against the War in Iraq a few years back, and Don Cherry raises a few eyebrows every weekend – and that’s just with his outfits. Here’s the difference between those acts, and what Tim Thomas did. Tim Thomas chose a team even to make an individual statement. The backlash he got is part and parcel with any athlete speaking out – it’s not something that’s justified or not justified, it’s part of the whole deal. Can you imagine how choked Tim Thomas would be if no one cared or noticed that he didn’t show up? Heck, this is the guy who has cited Glenn Beck as a hero, and I don’t think Glenn Beck’s own family cites him as a hero.
Now, I’m not speaking as a republican or democrat, and I’m not so sure I’d care who is in the Oval Office, but, if I got the invite to check the joint out, I’d take them up on the offer. Tim Thomas not showing up makes a statement, but it’s not political in nature, nor is it really effective. The fact that he posted a statement on Facebook makes it even weirder. Tim Thomas was effectively the girlfriend that refuses to go to a restaurant for birthday party, because a waitress once upon a time was rude to her. It’s not about you sunshine.