Bruins goaltender and controversy lightning rod Tim Thomas chose to make another political statement when he commented on yet another divisive issue on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
I Stand (sic) with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom, said the post on Thomas' page at around 2 p.m. Eastern Time. He followed it with a well-known quote from Martin Niemöller about the Holocaust. In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
It is believed that Thomas is referring to the decision by the Obama Administration to require religious groups to provide free birth control to their employees.
This comes about two and a half weeks after Thomas refused to join his Boston Bruins teammates at the White House at the invitation of President Obama.
Within hours of that snub, Thomas had posted a vague and rambling commentary on his Facebook wall about the excesses of our current government, though many suspected at the time that his personal political leanings, which are far to the right, were the reason behind his refusal to attend.
Thomas has been hailed by conservative blogger Andrew Brietbart as a true Tea Party patriot, due to his use of political symbolism on his mask, including the phrase In God We Trust, and a Gadsden Flag which was has been used as a symbol by the Tea Party movement.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and team president Cam Neely were both fairly critical of Thomas in the aftermath of the Obama snub emphasizing that the team would have preferred he was there and highlighting that his refusal was a completely personal matter.
I can require someone to attend a team event. 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, Chiarelli said.
Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us, said Neely. We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us but that's his choice. All the guys came except for Tim. It's his decision and his choice.
In the weeks that followed the White House snub there were rumors circulating around the league that the Bruins were anxious to trade Thomas in light of the controversy that surrounded him.
Chiarelli denied that the team was looking to deal Thomas within a week of the incident, but it remains to be seen if this latest foray into the murky waters of American politics will reignite those rumors.
Thomas' name comes up fairly often in trade talks anyway, even without his stirring the pot. Thomas is 37 years old and has two years remaining on his current deal and it is believed that the Bruins would like to move him in order to make room for 24 yea-old star in waiting, Tuukka Rask.
Thomas' play has been so excellent, including a Conn Smythe Trophy for his work in last year's playoffs, that they have never dealt the veteran, but it he keeps making trouble for the team and the public relations department he could find himself out sooner rather than later.