Normally the White House trip is a nice formality and photo op, but Tim Thomas’ decision not to go has the hockey world talking. Here’s a collection of supportive, snarky and serious reactions to his political move:
Damien Cox doesn’t pull punches:
Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski believes that Thomas shouldn’t be demonized:
It’s a moment in which a professional athlete uses his fame, his influence for something he believes in, and does something that won’t be popular among fans or media. Sean Avery did the same thing: Potentially alienating his teammates by taking a political stand on gay marriage.
If he’s celebrated and Thomas is demonized, what does that say about our real tolerance of free speech? That it’s only free when we agree with it?
As sports fans and members of the media, all we ever ask is that the people who play the games have a mind of their own and don’t conduct themselves like mindless automatons. Too often we are disappointed. So when one of them uses his position of celebrity to express his opinion, we should be celebrating it. This is not Michael Moore saying “Shame on you, George Bush,” at the Academy Awards or the Dixie Chicks calling Bush a moron – which are both entirely acceptable as well, but far more controversial. This was a very thoughtful, articulate and pensive athlete respectfully declining an invitation.