Memo to Tim Thomas: politics is about discourse.

Soon, this will be what the the media scrum looks like around Thomas post-game.


I honest to God do not care about Tim Thomas’ political views. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and that’s fine — that’s what the nation is built upon. It’s always been my philosophy that both political parties should (in theory) have the same common cause — strengthening the country — with differing philosophies as to how to do so. People’re going to have opinions that are different than yours. You shouldn’t insult or demonize them for doing so; use their opinions as a springboard for intelligent discourse over current important issues.

Ok, stop laughing. I know, I know, the chances of that happening in the current US Government (or any past ones) is nil. Politics is a mud slinging game filled with politicians who want to preserve their jobs by being loud and pretending to do stuff; the folks who actually care and want to help fix the nation’s problems with discourse and modesty got voted out a long time ago.

That being said, every citizen is free to share their opinion, and as Voltaire said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” You don’t have to agree, but you have to respect the fact that others have opinions if you want your own respected. Voltaire, though, also understood the problems that opinions, especially unpopular ones, can cause.

“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”

 How true that has been recently to the Boston Bruins and Tim Thomas. Thomas refused again to answer questions regarding a very public post he made on his very public Facebook page. He’s right — he doesn’t have to answer the questions. Thomas still needs to realize that he’s now a celebrity. He’s no longer an average joe, he’s Tim Thomas, Stanley Cup Winner. He’s managed to parlay that into Tim Thomas, Guy Who Is Probably A Member Of The Tea Party. It’s public knowledge. What he said on his Facebook page is public knowledge. And — in an announcement that could very well be earth-shattering — Thomas is a public figure. Ergo, he’s going to be asked these questions, and the sooner he answers them, the sooner they’ll go away.

If Thomas is just stating his opinion (which he is entitled to) without wanting to have a discussion about it, then it’s pointless. As a public figure, he’s going to get asked about things — like he said, he doesn’t have to answer, but it strikes me as odd that someone in so public of a profession is surprised by the media’s reaction about it. If he strongly believes in his opinion, as I am sure that he does, then why not be more willing to talk about it? Why not tell the press “Hey, we’re at the rink so I’d rather not distract from the team and talk about this issue. Why don’t we set up an interview and I’ll tell you more about my views one on one.” It’s mature, it gets something that he agrees with further out there for thought and discussion, and it ends the melodrama.

Thomas has already become a distraction to the team, and it’s not because of his political opinion at all. Teammates, just like friends, shouldn’t hold anothers’ politics against them on a personal level; politics is just opinion and makes no difference in the scheme of life, when you think about it. The reason Thomas has become a distraction is because his not discussing the issues, and making such an obvious show of not doing so, is drawing attention to himself. Thomas should focus on the Bruins, and if he would like to have a dialogue about the politics he believes in, then great — do it as an individual.

But to bring up your opinion and then refuse to discuss it? That’s as productive as the invective being directed at Thomas’ politics to begin with.

About Laura Astorian

Laura Astorian is the head editor for the SB Nation blog St. Louis Game Time and has been a Blues fan from childhood. She promises that any anti-Blackhawks bias will be left at the door. Maybe.