Vancouver: Riots after Canucks' Stanley Cup defeat

Riot police in Vancouver used tear gas to quell violence that broke out after the Vancouver Canucks lost the final game of the Stanley Cup.

Cars were set on fire and shops were looted following the ice hockey team’s 4-0 defeat to the Boston Bruins.

Mobs of angry fans roamed central Vancouver after the game, as thick acrid smoke rose over the city centre.

Similar riots broke out in the Canadian city after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Record crowds of supporters gathered in the heart of the city on Wednesday in the hope of seeing their team - the favourites - secure the Stanley Cup and be crowned winners of the National Hockey League (NHL).

But hope quickly turned to gloom after the Boston Bruins scored first and then went on to secure an emphatic victory.

Um, Canadians are mostly of British culture and descent, are they not?

I always pictured a Canadian riot to be something like a couple of guys standing on the corner yelling “Like…BOOOOOO…eh!” at Bruins fans leaving the stadium…and then offering them a beer.

Me too. But one has to remember what often happens at soccer games when the Brits play. The Canadians come by it naturally.

Well it is Canada, they do take their hockey seriously up there!

Nope. Not in Vancouver. If you look at the demographics, only 35% are from the British Isles. The rest are from all over the world but mostly Southeast Asian.

Nevertheless, most of the people, although sad because of the loss, were not rioters. But an roughly organized group were there specifically, I think, to destroy and loot.

It’s deplorable when people riot and loot. And as a Canadian, BC’er, It’s downright embarrassing.

I am proud of my hometown Surrey though (suburb of Vancouver). They also had thousands gather, and there was no violent action.

I think the idea of a couple of guys on the corner, offering a beer to the Bruins fans and congratulations to them. They have a heck of a great goalie.

The BBC mentioning hockey? That’s new

I feel bad for Vancouver. A hundred thousand showed up outside the arena and were disappointed.

Huh? How does that relate to the topic? :confused:

At any rate, according to the 2006 census approximately 36% of metro Vancouver residents are of British descent.

I think 40 years ago what you said was true, but Vancouver has changed markedly during the past 20-30 years. When I think of the city, I think multi-cultural with a large (25% according to the census) immigrant population from east Asia.

More on topic, these kinds of sports riots are sad. I remember living in Chicago back when the Bulls won their first championship and a similar riot broke out… for winning! :o

I believe it was tied into the post about British rioting after losing a soccer match.

Go Boston :thumbsup:

Okay, I still don’t understand the point. Is he suggesting the British riot at sporting events more often than peoples of other countries? :confused:

The US has a well-established record of sports riots. Here is a news article from 2004:

Today, big games and riots go hand in hand far more often. There are 10 to 15 such incidents a year, and the outcomes are more tragic, says Kent State University sociologist Jerry Lewis, who has studied sports-related riots since 1960.

In Boston this year, riots claimed the life of one college student after February’s Super Bowl victory by the New England Patriots. Another student was killed in rioting last month after the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the American League playoffs. With added police presence, celebrations after the Red Sox won the World Series last week proved less violent. Yet police still arrested 39 people, including 20 students.

The British were mentioned well before British rioting itself was mentioned.

Please remember the OP of this thread is British so please be nice :slight_smile: or I’ll have you hauled to the Tower at Her Majesty’s Pleasure! (It’s a joke, people).

It’s disgusting. Vancouver should lose their franchise for a year or so to punish those little monsters .

A girl died in 07 in Boston, when over privileged snots from the Ivy league rioted to “celebrate” a World Series win. It was repulsive and a severe black mark on the city when it happened there, and it’s the same up in Vancouver.

Nothing says city pride like destroying private property and and intimidating innocent people.

I’m an ethnic pure bred Brit (both sides of the family are from there, many people still there) and I know some great British jokes! :wink:

I’m impressed by the number of ordinary citizens who are reported to have stood in front of establishments to prevent looters from gaining access after windows had been smashed. One guy actually left his apartment to go protect the Chapters bookstore on his street.

Then there’s the idiot who bragged about attacking a policeman & knocking him to the ground, burning a few Smart cars, overturning a police car, etc. all on his facebook page. Great evidence for the prosecution.

Oh, I agree-there are ALOT of wonderful people in in Vancouver (a city I’ve never been to, in fairness, but I’ve been to Canada before. I live on a border state) who stand up to prevent these thugs from breaking into homes/etc.

And yes, that moron who bragged about being a degenerate should be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.

Actually not-in Ontario a good percent of Canadians are of American culture and descent.

They are just a bunch of pot-smoking draft dodgers!



Vancouver thugs (not fans)would have rioted even if they had won.It’s just an excuse to get drunk.cause mayhem and loot stores.90 days at hard labour-cracking rocks plus full restitution.It’s ALL on film and most of the little cretins will be arrested.

The Sports Riot: First We Lose (Or Win), Then We Set This Sucker On Fire

June 16, 2011


EnlargeElsa/Getty Images
A person walks in front of a burning vehicle after riots break out following the Vancouver Canucks’ loss in the NHL finals.
The Vancouver Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night — or rather, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night. But what’s in the news this morning is the depressingly familiar spectacle of fires, overturned cars, and broken windows. That was in Vancouver, where the team lost. (And where similar problems happened in 1994 when the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers.)

Of course, you can get exactly the same reaction from the fans of a team that wins — take the riots in Los Angeles that happened in June 2010 after the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals.

If you want more evidence that extreme jubilation can lead to the same tragedies as extreme frustration, consider the fact that there was a death in Boston in rioting that followed Boston Red Sox’ victory over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series in 2004 — perhaps the most exuberant moment in recent sports history.

A piece that ran in USA Today in 2004 after the Red Sox riots (and a similar nightmare following the Patriots’ Super Bowl win) looked at prevailing theories about sports riots, centering on youth, alcohol, and the pitched emotions that surround sporting events.

It also mentions the fact that the University Of Maryland had, among other things, attempted to improve fan behavior by prohibiting the band from playing Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part II,” which you may know as “duuuuuh-nuh (HEY!), duh-nuuuh-nuh-nuh!nuh!”), which is a good sign that nobody really knows what to do about any of this.

The problem is that none of the theories that inevitably emerge are entirely satisfying.

Youth. If this were a matter of “young people will burn cars with little or no provocation if you give them a chance,” wouldn’t they burn cars on New Year’s Eve? The same would apply if you assume it’s young people who are drunk. There are campus parties that involve just as much alcohol as sports celebrations, and they don’t all turn into campus-burning riots.

Drinking. Yes, obviously, alcohol plays a role in many incidents that involve loss of judgment on a grand scale. And drunk sports fans don’t actually need a game of any particularly pitched significance at all in order to start acting like idiots, as you will see if you read up on Ten Cent Beer Night, probably the worst promotion anyone in baseball ever dreamed up. (The ESPN remembrance of the evening does a fine job of noting how goofy behavior transforms into violent behavior: “The jovial, frolicking nudists had disappeared,” it notes as simple chaos turns into a dangerous explosion of fighting.) But there are lots of bars where there are a bunch of drunks every night of the year, and they don’t wind up overturning police cars.

Sports. One of the explanations that makes some inherent sense is that sports already play on some of our more warlike instincts — sporting events get people really, really wound up, so there’s a spillover of excess brutish energy that turns into violence, whether the outcome is positive or negative.

What’s unsatisfying about that explanation, though, is that we manage to have political rallies that are very, very angry, but remain peaceful. If people don’t typically turn over police cars after an election that doesn’t go their way or after being literally rallied, why does the energy from a sporting event have to boil over and wind up with somebody stabbing somebody else?


Police presence itself. It’s pretty clear that flatly blaming a police presence for rioting is simplistic at best, since some riots are blamed on the police not making much of a showing.

But I was fortunate enough to chat by chance this morning with NPR multimedia intern Tucker Walsh, who covered what I guess could paradoxically be called “moderate rioting” that took place at Virginia Commonwealth University after VCU’s unlikely run in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament ended with a loss to Butler (he produced a terrific video about it for the Washington Post).

One of the things he told me was that some of the students became aware of the police presence outside at halftime, and they saw police in riot gear. That seemed to bug them a little, he says, as far as the expectation that there would be rioting, and for some of them, it seemed to feed the expectation that that behavior was inevitable. In other words: When you see riot police, you riot.

Miscellaneous, unattached aggression in search of a cause. What I find unsettling about sports riots, in the end, is that they seem straightforwardly opportunistic. They capitalize on preexisting, unattached anger and coiled-spring destructiveness that isn’t particularly directed at anything; it just is. In other words, people walking around all the time being really mad is the parasite; the game is just the host.

If I’m being honest, it’s often what unsettles me about what other people tend to see as the decline of civility in the age of the internet. Not being much of a believer that humanity becomes inherently better or worse over time, I’m not sure people get nicer or meaner; they just have different ways to express it. And, I think you can argue, the public riot and the public message board have in common a certain anonymity and tendency toward groupthink that can both operate loosen the bonds between individual people and their good sense. There’s also the show-off factor — just as I fear the possibility of appearing on a great cell-phone video could encourage people to tear down street signs, the desire to be cheered on, or recommended, or just quoted, seems to be at the heart of some of the worst discourse I see online.

At times, when comment conversations anywhere on the internet that are about something incredibly inconsequential (like what phone you use or whether you like superhero movies) get weirdly personal and nasty, I have a reaction that’s similar to the one I have when I see people setting a trash can on fire because their hockey team lost. (Obviously, the concrete consequences are not remotely the same, and I wouldn’t claim they are.) I’m not convinced that anonymity or crowds — real or virtual — can create anger or incivility that isn’t already there. They just become cultural flypaper, and extreme hostility sticks to them. You’re not learning how angry sports make people, or how angry the internet makes people. You’re learning how angry people already are.

You win, you set a fire. You lose, you set a fire. The message is pretty clear: It’s not about the game; it’s about the fact that you … wanted to set a fire. If you see pictures of a sports riot and you want to worry about something, don’t worry about sports or sports fans. Worry about that.

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