Agree to disagree with A HOCKEY HERO

As a Boston Bruins fan this might just be the Stanley Cup champagne talking, but it’s possible I’m the only left-leaning person who’s OK with goaltender Tim Thomas showing he also likes to play right wing.

In case you’re exhibiting concussion-like symptoms and don’t know what I’m talking about: The Boston Bruins were invited to the White House this week, but their MVP Thomas decided to stay away and have a Tea Party instead.

In a statement that showed he likes capitalization more than the Capitol, he said that the U.S. government had “grown out of control” and that he had made his decision “as an INDIVIDUAL.”

The media’s reaction? Well, you think the Gadhafis were harshly criticized …

To be fair, Thomas’ statement was vague, which left it open to interpretation. A reader might guess that he doesn’t recognize the divine provenance of the Los Angeles Kings, believes it’s his right to defend his crease with a gun, and thinks that Mario Lemieux is the best Freedom-Canadian player ever.

Here’s what some media members actually said: He should turn in his U.S. medal from the Olympics. He hates the troops. And he may be a racist. All this while most were mocking his views as extreme.

The only people who seemed to support him were right-wingers who were happy to pile onto Obama.

It’s an interesting thing to discover that one of your heroes is your political opposite. It’s a bit like discovering that Stephen Hawking has a Confederate flag in his bedroom or Rowlf the Dog is a Scientologist. You admire them for reasons totally beyond what their politics are, and you’re not sure how to process it when given the new information.

Fortunately for me, I’m a militant free-speech guy (and God knows I’ve got enough friends who are part of the flu-shots-kill-but-bin-Laden’s-alive extreme left.)

I’ve got a good head start with cognitive dissonance, because I have two other heroes whom I disagree with on just about everything but who are good at what they do and live their lives with integrity. I call them “Mom” and “Dad.”

So I don’t care that Thomas took a stance I disagree with. In the sports realm, he’s a thoughtful, polite and intelligent interview, and on the ice he’s already proven he’s one of the best players in the world.

Thomas has done his bit for king and country. So to speak.




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