Former State Democrat to Thomas: “Stick to hockey”

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The firestorm started by Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas yesterday continues to burn, as angry Democrats are now speaking out about the snub.

Those criticizing Thomas for skipping the Bruins’ White House visit include former Massachusetts Democratic chairman Philip Johnston, who served under President Clinton.

“My advice to him is to stick to hockey,” Johnston told the Boston Herald. “I think Bruins players are taken seriously for their hockey, not for their politics.”

Also joining in was Kevin Franck, current spokesman and communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

“I think anyone who really cares about the lives, liberty and happiness of the American people wouldn’t miss an opportunity to shake the hand of the man who got [Osama] bin Laden,” he said.

Those in the pro-Thomas camp are pointing out the reigning Conn Smythe winner isn’t the first professional athlete to skip the celebratory garden party.

In 1996, Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura balked on meeting President Clinton; Steelers linebacker James Harrison skipped out in 2006 (President Bush) and 2009 (President Obama) and, most recently, former Bears lineman Dan Hampton opted not to attend the 25th anniversary of Chicago’s 1986 Super Bowl because he was “not a fan of the guy in the White House.”