The Wide World of White House Sports Snubs

The Wide World of White House Sports Snubs

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The long list of pointless snubs against President Barack Obama continued this week – but I’m not talking about finger waving governors.  This time it was stick waving jocks on ice. When the Boston Bruins came to the White House Monday to be officially congratulated by the president for winning the Stanley Cup Finals, Tim Thomas, one of only two Americans on the team, was noticeably absent. Thomas said his reasons weren’t political but you can see for yourself, his entire statement, posted on Facebook was the following:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

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.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

Not “political,” huh?  Ok … that certainly sounds like politics and party to me.  But, perhaps I’m just not as well versed on the Constitution as Thomas.

Of course, he also is a known supporter of the Tea Party. So, I guess if Sarah Palin had made it into the White House he would have felt more compelled to show up to a team function rather than stay at home in protest.

There are others who’ve skipped out on White House championship trips. Green Bay Packers Tight End Mark Chmura refused to meet with Bill Clinton in 1997; Manny Ramirez refused to meet with George W. Bush in 2007; Steelers Linebacker James Harrison was a bi-partisan snubber skipping a meeting with Bush in 2006 and with Obama in 2009. League MVP and right wing baseball player Albert Puljos skipped out on two recent White House trips as well. He has attended Glenn Beck rallies (claiming it was values not politics based) and also supports Sarah Palin, but in a classic case of politically contradictory behavior he is vehemently against Arizona’s draconian new immigration law – something that Obama and the Justice Department are trying to overturn. My personal favorite is the Larry Bird snub of Ronald Reagan after the Celtic’s 1986 championship. Bird famously skipped out on meeting Reagan in 1986 reportedly telling a reporter the next day that “the president knew where to find him.

In and of itself, I have no problem with professional athletes refusing to attend White House ceremonies due to their political differences. If you really don’t like the president and this is your form of protest I say go for it. However, a number of athletes have gone on record saying that they regret their decisions to snub the POTUS years later. Winning a championship and going to the White House is usually a once in a lifetime opportunity, unless you’re Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan or any of the Showtime Lakers.  Plus: don’t say it’s not political if you make a big political statement out of it. You can’t have it both ways and expect not to get publicly chastised over it.

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