TORONTO, Ont. – There were plenty of comments in the papers, on Twitter and Facebook about the very unsportsmanlike behaviour exhibited by Vancouver Canucks fans.
On Twitter, people talked about the booing at Rogers Arena as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman presented the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, and also the embarrassing riots after the game. But, fans said the booing was not directed at the Bruins, but at Bettman.
The grim spectacle of Vancouver coming under siege from rioters was on display around the world as the aftermath of the city’s Stanley Cup loss makes major news around the world.
Media outlets like the New York Times and CNN played reports about the chaos prominently on their websites, alongside reports of the Game 7 victory by the Boston Bruins.
“Trouble in Vancouver’s Streets After Defeat” topped the lead story in the online sports section of the Times, while the CNN site gave prominent play to fiery video images from downtown.
The Washington Post headline, “Riots erupt in Vancouver after Canucks lose to Bruins,” was accompanied by a photo of a fan waving a Canadian flag with a burning pickup truck in the background.
The riot was also noticed in Australia, where the front page of the sports section of the Brisbane Times website displayed photos of the riot under the headline: “Hockey fans hopping mad.”
The Sydney Morning Herald also displayed riot photos and the headline: “Violence in Vancouver after Canucks lose Stanley Cup final.”
The rioting story was also picked up in India on the website of the Hindustan Times.
Mainstream media outlets were, however, just part of the story. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were teaming with citizen dispatches from the scene, as well as expressions of disgust from Canadians, and Canucks fans in particular.
Mayor Gregor Richardson called the rioting “despicable,” while NBA star Steve Nash of Victoria, B.C., said, “Vancouver is being embarrassed.”
Some used humour to cope. One tweet said: “Vancouver police are sending Tim Thomas out to stop the riot, he’s stopped everything else.”
The Boston goalie was the first one in NHL history to get a shutout in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final on the road.