You may not like him, you may not agree with him, but you should respect him. Tim Thomas did what more athletes in the American sports scene should be doing, and that's taking advantage of their public platform to aid our country.
It's no secret by now that Thomas, the Boston Bruins' starting goaltender and anchor of the team's 2011 Stanley Cup title run, turned down an invitation to visit the White House and President Barack Obama in honor of the Bruins' Cup victory.
Thomas released a statement on his decision not to attend, which can be read here. In summary, Thomas declined to attend to make a statement: there's too much corruption going on in our government on both sides of the aisle and he's not standing for it. For taking a stand for the greater good, Thomas should be praised, not scorned.
Athletes have a greater access to the masses than the average American, and they can chose to use that stage in any way. Some use it to talk about meaningless topics (see Chad Ochocinco) and others will use it to call out other athletes or critics. I have no problem with that - they have the right to talk about whatever they want. Isn't our country great?
Even so, it's not all that often that athletes will use their stage to touch on politics. Even if you don't follow politics, you can't deny that they play a big role in all of our lives. By turning down the White House invite and making a stand, Thomas did what few in his position have done. His actions were done in the interest of the American people.
Really, how can you find fault with that? Sure, he could have handled it differently. Thomas could have gone to the White House to celebrate with his team and still released the statement, but it wouldn't have had the same effect.
Kudos, Timmy. Thanks for standing up for what you believe in. I appreciate it.