When asked about Tim Thomas’ snub of President Obama, the Canucks popular, Massachusetts born back-up goaltender Cory Schneider took full advantage of his right to self-expression. As quoted by Elliot Pap of the Vancouver Sun:
Every person is entitled to their rights, that’s the point of the constitution. You can have free speech, free religion, politics and all that stuff. So it’s absolutely Tim’s right [to do what he did]. His beliefs are his own and that’s fine.
It’s just the timing is a little odd. If your entire team is going, it’s about the team to kind of put your own agenda aside and maybe just show up in support.
Obviously he believes strongly in his political views, but, as an American, I think we all have a little bit of respect for the position of the president. Whether you like the guy or not, he’s the president of the United States. Tim has made a great living and a great career in the United States and I’m sure he’s benefitted from tax-paying dollars and every other right that as an American citizen we all enjoy. It’s a little bit of a slight to sort of forget all that and choose to do this.
Other Canucks players declined to comment, and Alain Vigneault continued his streak of underwhelming trash talk when he told Farhan Lalji that, "My give a care meter for what’s going on in Boston is not very high." While the rest of the team was probably just hoping to put the overblown Bruins-Canucks grudge behind them to some extent, it’s telling that Schneider chose to speak his mind.
While Schneider’s response isn’t Churchillian in its succinctness or structure, the bones of a well thought out criticism of Thomas’ actions are there. Schneider obviously understands that Thomas feels strongly about his views, and defends his right to hold and express them. Schneider, like the majority of observers however, clearly feels like Thomas put his own agenda above the team and could’ve probably done with a bit more tact in exercising his own inalienable right to free speech.
Mike Gillis was asked by Farhan and B-Mac on the Team 1040 today about Schneider’s having answered the question, and he defend his goaltenders intelligence and eloquence saying "We trust Cory and his judgement, and he’s certainly bright enough to answer any questions that come his way."
It’s worth noting that Cory Schneider studied finance and won numerous academic awards in his four years at Boston College. He’s a smart guy, it shows, and it’s good to know that we can add "expressing a clear, complex opinion in a convincing and confident manner" to the growing list of things that make Cory Schneider awesome.