At least five players from the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots will be skipping the traditional trip to the White House to meet the President.
Why? Because they're racists. Yep. No question about it. How do I know? Because the President is white, and they are black.
See, back in 2012, when the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins made their trip to the Executive Mansion, star goalie Tim Thomas declined the offer. He gave as his reasons his political beliefs that the Federal Government had grown too large and had too much power.
When the media found out that Thomas was going to skip meeting President Obama, the knives came out. See, Thomas is white, and the President was black. And that made Thomas a racist.
The Boston Globe's Kevin DuPont pilloried Thomas, upbraiding him as bigoted and selfish.
Keith Olbermann of ESPN lectured us that Thomas was disrespectful and hinted at racism as the real reason, and that the honor of meeting the President was what was most important.
David Hodge, Canadian hockey writer for TSN, also called Thomas a racist, and insinuated he is a Klansman (because his three children's names begin with 'K"). No, he was not joking.
Stephen Colbert, from Comedy Central, dismissed his stated reasons for not making the trip, and declared the REAL reason to be bigotry.
The Daily Kos was quick to remind us that Thomas was not an individual, but part of a team, and should have made the White House visit out of contractual obligation.
Dan Levy from Bleacher Report even called Thomas's action "borderline treasonous". (One cannot seem to find Levy's opinion on leaking Top Secret information on a non-secure server, but I imagine he thinks it somewhat short of borderline treason.)
Sports Illustrated's Stu Hackel piously informed us that Thomas's choice of the White House visit to make known his personal beliefs was inappropriate. The wrong place and time. And doing so was disrespectful to the United States and the American people.
And there were dozens, if not hundreds, of other commentary on a white man refusing a visit to a black President. So the only conclusion I can possibly come to is that the New England Patriot players who decided to skip the White House visit when a white man is President, are all racists. Based on previous precedent, it is the only reason I can think of. (Yes, I know Chris Long is white, but if the woman in Nashville who refuses to sell yarn to knit "pussy hats" is sexist, then Long can be racist. Interestingly, one writer for the NY Daily News labeled any WHITE players racist, for attending.)
So far, however, there has been virtually none of the near-universal and loud condemnation of the Patriots' players' actions as there was for Thomas. So allow me to begin, and paraphrase the 2012 DuPont Globe article:
Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league. Need I go on? All that and more applies to what [the Patriots who skipped the visit] did. [They] needed to be there in solidarity, and celebration, with [their] team. It was the same government yesterday, and will be today, that protected [their] country, [their] security, [their] famil[ies], and [their] right to make $5 million a year, all last season. In [their] absence, [they] stole [their] teammates’ spotlight. Win as a team. Lose as a team. And when asked to stand up and take a bow, then stand up there and suffer if need be, even if you don’t like the setting, the host, or any of the political trappings and tenets that come with it.
And some re-work of the Hackel Sports Illustrated piece from the same time:
A segment of fans and media observers, who likely agree with [the Patriots players'] politics or don't really understand the notion of principle, have now hailed [them] as some sort of righteous figure[s]. [They're] not. There's nothing heroic in what [they] did. [They] trampled on the only principle that really matters here, the one that got [them] invited to the White House in the first place. [They] misguidedly and unprofessionally turned [their] back[s] on the group that propelled [them] into public prominence and the sport that has made [them] wealthy. Where's the principle in that?
Unless what is good for the goose is not at all good for the gander. Which is called a double-standard. And that would make everyone who condemned Tim Thomas so virulently to be intellectually dishonest hypocrites of the first order.
Oh, wait. Dissent is patriotic again. After an eight year hiatus. In which dissent was racist. Gotcha.