Kings F Dustin Penner takes shot at athletes who skip White House visit

Dustin-Penner-KingsThe Los Angeles Kings visited the White House on Tuesday to be recognized for their 2011-2012 Stanley Cup title, and by all accounts it appears all members of the team were able to attend. As you know, there is a growing list of athletes — most notably former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas — who, because of personal/political reasons, have refused to travel to the White House with their team to meet the president.

For the most part, there are two sides to the debate. On one side, you have people who feel that athletes are given a forum most of us do not have and that they should use it to stand up for their political beliefs. On the other side, you have people who feel that it is disrespectful to your team and your country to refuse such a rare honor. After Tuesday, we know where Kings forward Dustin Penner stands.

If you ask me, he’s right. Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion, but going to the White House to be recognized for winning a championship does not mean you support the president. It’s a tradition and something that players should experience with their teammates. You can still take a handshake from Barack Obama and vote Republican. In my opinion, athletes should understand that and cast their personal beliefs aside.

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  • joel

    President may have been mad at the Kings for beating his hometown Chicago Blackhawks the night before the visit :)


    You’re writing an article about Tim Thomas’ position, though you obviously never read what he wrote. You are the perfect journalist for the 21st century!

  • gcp

    Penner isn”t even an AMERICAN he should keep his mouth shut and concentrate on his country of Canada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevefromsacto Steve Mehlman

    Thomas refusing to attend the ceremony with his Bruin teammates took the spotlight away from their earned recognition by the President of the United States for winning the Stanley Cup. It was selfish of him to put partisan politics ahead of his teammates.

    It doesn’t matter who is President. You respect the office and you respect his recognizing your team for their accomplishments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=574360851 Charles Anderson

    Hmmm…White House tours for regular, tax-paying citizens are closed because of the Sequester, but the President can still do a meet & greet with professional athletes? And since Penner obviously didn’t pay for his ‘free trip’, was it the Kings ownership group or US Taxpayers that footed the bill?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hockey.mann.9 Hockey Mann

    F You PENNER! Go eat some pancakes!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hockey.mann.9 Hockey Mann

    that’s just your opinion… obviously everyone has their right to their OWN opinion… Dumb@ss

  • http://www.facebook.com/Thunderbird1126 Noelle Newby

    boo hoo you sad millionairs! The “poor sport” ones anyway. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! That’s 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct for all of you cry babies!

  • Username454

    Going to the White House in this context IS an endorsement of the
    president, no matter how you try to frame it otherwise. And Penner’s
    Canadian; he doesn’t have to answer to the rest of the country and world
    for the US government’s misdeeds. But as a global citizen, it would be nice if he were a little less ignorant.


    Before commenting, you should read what Tim Thomas said. It was anything but partisan. Do you know what partisan means? Besides, the president is supposed to be a public servant. There is no duty to “respect” him. He’s not an emperor: At least not officially yet.


    “Tip of the hat” to the editor for allowing a wide range of comments!

  • Guest

    If this was 10 years ago and some athlete had refused to meet the worst two-term president of all-time, the right wing would have been all over him for his lack of respect. Typical repubs, wanting it both ways.

  • Alfa Spider

    If this were 10 years and some athlete had refused to meet with Bush, Leftists would have lionized him as a hero speaking truth to power. Typical American Leftists, the most intellectually dishonest, critically non-reflective, smug and narcissistic political force on the world stage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1164307050 Gordon Smith

    I wouldn’t go. No way would I partake in anything with the lying, manipulative, man from nowhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.constantopoulos Alexander Constantopoulos

    One would not have to go back 10 years for that. The facts (not opinions) show that the worst two term president of all time has attained that honor in only the past 4 1/2 years (and the clock continues to keep on ticking). The word incompetent really comes to mind. Asked to visit the white house, to be honored? Not a chance in hades. I would decline, because I would be visiting my friend, Shawn Smith’s grave. What Alfa Spider said

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.constantopoulos Alexander Constantopoulos


  • JHawaii

    What if the athlete feels the President doesnt respect the office. After all, our last 3 Presidents havent shown much respect for the oval office or the constitution. Is getting a BJ in the Oval Office showing respect? Is tramping on the constitution and adding trillions in debt showing respect for the Oval Office? I dont think it is and if these athletes feel the same they have the right not to go. whether they are right or not.

  • stevefromsacto

    In none of all the b.s. partisan hatefest is there ONE WORD about Thomas respecting his teammates enough not to let his “protest” sully their day of honor. And that is the point I’m trying to make, Dumb@ss. Of course Thomas has a right to his political opinion. But his respect for his teammates should trump that. You want to hate the President, go to Fox News or the Drudge Report. This is a sports blog.