BOSTON (AP) - A Boston Bruins goalie's decision to skip a White House ceremony with President Barack Obama because he believes the federal government is "out of control" points to a growing lack of courtesy in the country, Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday.
Patrick, a Democrat, was asked about the controversy Thursday during his monthly "Ask the Governor" program on WTKK-FM. He didn't directly criticize goalie Tim Thomas, but suggested that the snub showed disrespect toward the presidency.
"He's a phenomenal hockey player and he's entitled to his views," Patrick said. "It just feels like we are losing in this country basic courtesy and grace."
The governor said while he strongly disagreed with many of the policies of former President George W. Bush, a Republican, he was always respectful when they met.
"I always referred to him as Mr. President, I stood when he came into the room. There are rules to live by," Patrick said.
The ceremony on Monday was to honor the Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup last season, their first championship in 39 years. Thomas was named the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup finals against the Vancouver Canucks.
Thomas explained his choice in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
"I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people," he wrote.
Thomas blamed all three branches of government and both political parties.
"This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country," he said in the statement, adding that he did not plan to speak further about his decision.