Skip to content

Justin Bieber fans deface tribute to Rick Rypien, incur wrath of Twitterverse

Oct 12, 2012, 2:54 PM EDT

Justin Bieber performs at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., Mon., Oct. 8, 2012 AP

As Justin Bieber careens dangerously into Lady Gaga/Madonna territory (see photo), we here on Earth can take comfort in the fact that we can actively avoid him and his fans. Except in cases such as this: it seems that overzealous Beliebers (as if there were any other kind) have defaced a tribute to Rick Rypien on a memorial wall outside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.

Rypien of course is the former Canucks forward who committed suicide in 2011. He’s the cousin of former Redskins QB Mark Rypien.

Bieber staged a concert at Rogers Arena on Wednesday, and afterwards, things got all scrawly:

Next to a note to the late Canucks player “Thank you Rick for your inspiration,” someone has written “I love Justin Bieber” in black marker. Several other similar Bieber messages were also left on the wall paying tribute to the Canucks forward who fought depression before being found dead last summer.

One person who wrote “J.B. Concert, Oct. 10/2012″ in a heart left her full name — and has been receiving the wrath of Canucks fans online. Some of the abusive messages included death threats, reported B.C. CTV.

Yep, it got pretty intense, even for Twitter:

“To whoever destroyed the memorial, do you understand what I would do to you if I was in a room with you?” posted one Twitter user.

How bad is it when you’re called out for classlessness by Canucks fans? I guess we’re lucky a riot didn’t break out. Instead, Vancouverites, accustomed to cleaning things up, scrubbed the Rypien memorial of the offending Bieber graffiti.

Rypien’s mother was not happy with graffiti, but even less happy with the cyber attack.

“The support that we’ve received and how good everybody has been to us and how much people love our son has meant the world to us, but I just don’t want it to get into anything like this,” Rypien’s mother, Shelley Crawford, said Friday from her Alberta home. “I just don’t like the idea of somebody being threatened and having my son’s name around that at all.”

So we have clueless kids who are let off the leash for the first time, without the vaguest notion of what hockey is, let alone who Rick Rypien was. Then that’s met with typical internet tough-guy hoser bravado. It’s always pleasant when these two groups meet.

  1. t16rich - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    I’ve never seen a Canuck receive as much love as he did whether it be when he was with us, or since he has left. I’ll never forget that guys energy. Too bad to see this story, but my fellow Canucks fans need to listen to his mother and back off. R.I.P. Rick, don’t know a Canucks fan who didn’t love watching you play.