Just weeks after declining a visit to the White House with the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, Tim Thomas made another political statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
With his team in Buffalo taking on the Sabres, the Bruins goaltender offered his views on the U.S. government's decision to provide health insurance plans (including those offered by Catholic charities, hospitals and universities) that would provide birth control to women, citing a passage from a poem by German anti-Nazi theologian Martin Niemoller:
"I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom.
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
- by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came...."
Thomas, last year's Conn Smythe Trophy and Vezina Trophy winner, drew plenty of attention when he did not attend last month's team visit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama.
The Michigan-born netminder posted an explanation for his absence from the ceremony on Facebook, saying he believed, "the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People."
Thomas, the only American-born member on last year's squad to suit up in the Stanley Cup playoffs, was also a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. 2010 Olympic men's hockey team.