The Boston Bruins were invited to the White House on Monday to celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup win. One player however, refused to go. Goaltender Tim Thomas did not attend the event.
Thomas, who wears a helmet with the slogan Don't Tread on Me, and is a big fan of Glenn Beck, according to the Boston Herald, said his decision not to attend was not about politics or party, though he did take time to criticize President Obama and the government.
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People, Thomas said on Facebook. 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.
And while on Boston columnist called the move bratty, Tim Thomas is not the only athlete who refused an invitation to the White House.
In 1985, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl, but the Challenger Explosion a few days before they were supposed to visit the White House meant they never had an opportunity to celebrate their victory. Last September, President Obama invited the 1985 team to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their win. Hall of famer Dan Hampton, defensive tackle, refused to attend. And though he initially said that he didn't attend because players' wives and children were not invited, he later admitted that he's not a fan of the guy in the White House.
Also in September, top NASCAR drivers were invited to the White House. Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart rejected the invitation, citing scheduling conflicts. Jimmie Johnson, the Sprint Cup winner, took offense to their snub, tweeting Regardless of political views, when [the president of the United States] sends an invite and wants to honor you at the White House, you accept. He ended his tweet with the hashtag respect.
President Clinton was snubbed also. In 1997 he invited Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers to the White House, but tight end Mark Chmura refused the invitation, citing Clinton's scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. According to CBS News, Chmura was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old babysitter four years later. Though he was found non-guilty, he admitted his behavior wasn't something a married man should do.