Vancouver’s embarassment

By this time we have all heard about the events that occurred in Vancouver following the 2011 Stanley Cup game where the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins. Immediately following the game, enthusiastic fans quickly turned into delinquent rioters, wreaking havoc throughout downtown Vancouver. From violence and looting, to vandalism and arson, these rioters became almost too much for the police to handle, causing them to resort to using tear gas, shields and even police dogs in attempts to control the crowds. The rioters were so out of control that there were even reports of stabbings and many other injuries sustained to rioters and bystanders during the violence that erupted in the city.

Though I expected to hear about a few bar fights between inebriated hockey fans following the game, I was completely unprepared for the events that occurred. The images of the city in complete chaos reminded me of the video clips from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — except instead of hungry and grieving victims struggling to survive, these were grown men and women in Canucks paraphernalia lighting police cars on fire.

My opinion, which I hope is a similar to the general public’s, is that the events following the Stanley Cup of 2011 were embarrassing and ridiculous. Some may beg to differ, but the fact of the matter is that the rioting was a response to the loss of a game. Yes, even our beloved hockey is just a game. Let’s face it, to tear a city apart — especially your own city — because of a game is foolish, especially if you consider the events going on elsewhere. People are rioting all over the world for justice and for liberation, not because their favorite sports team lost.

In all honestly, not only was this a terrible display of sportsmanship but a shameful example of what people en masse are capable of when mob behavior completely overrides all logic and sensibility. The Canadian military is stereotypically classified in a passive, non-confrontational peacekeeping position on the international stage, involved in countries where we encourage unity, diplomacy, democracy and peace. Yet when our own civilians decide that a violent and lawless route of displaying their emotions is appropriate, what example are we setting for the world?

I do not condone this type of behavior, but if this passion is expressed it would be nice to see it directed towards issues that matter more than meaningless entertainment.

Beth Daniel is a former U of M student.

5 Comments on "Vancouver’s embarassment"

  1. fact of the matter is the riot would have happened if they won or lost. the ones that started the whole thing came down prepared to riot. and yes the media had a lot to do with it. yes some got caught up in it because of the drinking. the canuck organization did not start this, yet are being blamed constantly by the media. its over, get over it. move on. some of us still are true hockey fans who enjoy the game.

  2. Ease up on the hyperbole there, Beth. Equating Vancouver to New Orleans post Katrina is way off the mark and insulting to people from New Orleans, as is stating Vancouver was in “complete chaos”. The riot was contained to a few blocks square area. Was it embarrassing? Yes. Was it shameful? Yes, definitely. Bree touched on it above, I believe the rioters do not fairly represent Canucks fans. And your “reporting” is typical of sensationalist “journalism”.

  3. Nice headline. Way to pin something that a handful participated in on an entire city. Also, if you did a little research, or listened to the news around you, you would know that there were people that came armed with firebombs, masks, and various other equipment – there was going to be a riot win or lose. Game was irrelevant.

    Knee jerk article, do at least a trickle of research next time k?

  4. Well i guess we will see what jets fans can do now, Winnipeg has a few skeletons of it`s own so maybe stop with the finger pointing ,it`s petty and beneath being Canadian ,we should stand together not pull apart ,besides ,it`s fire season and you may just need us out there in Manitoba,so be NICE!!!

  5. Agree with the other comments. Didn’t do any research at all as far as I could tell, judging by how poorly informed it is. It fits in with most Canadian media just fine 🙂

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