Here’s an unfortunate incident that will likely cause you to shake your head: the Toronto Star has come under fire for an unfortunate error in their August 16 report on the passing of Rick Rypien in which they misquoted Gillis referring to Rypien — whose struggles with mental illness are now coming to light — as “crazy”.
Yeah. That happened, and I may be understating things when I say that it probably shouldn’t have. Here’s how it did: the original quote was drawn from an Iain MacIntyre article from last November in which Gillis addressed Rypien’s leave of absence by saying:
When you come to know somebody and realize they’re a really good person…You don’t only support them when they’re at the top of their game…you support them when they’re not feeling good about things or have other issues they have to deal with.”
Solid quote, especially since Gillis didn’t say Rypien was crazy. The quote was pulled from Wikipedia, however, and by then it had been ever-so-slightly altered (which is why you’re not supposed to use Wikipedia as a source — truthfully, if anybody deserves to have his ankle tethered to a horse, it’s the twerp who made this edit):
When you come to know somebody and realize they’re a really good person, but crazy…You don’t only support them when they’re at the top of their game…you support them when they’re not feeling good about things or have other issues they have to deal with.”
The Star failed to catch the change, which, needless to say, was a regrettable error. When they finally did, it was apology time:
An Aug. 16 article about the death of former Vancouver Canuck Rick Rypien misquoted Canucks general manager Mike Gillis as having referred to Rypien as “crazy” in an interview with the Vancouver Sun last November when Rypien took a personal leave from the Canucks. In fact, Gillis never said that [...] The Star apologizes for this error.
The Canucks are apparently considering legal action, which makes sense considering this is a sensitive issue (and Gillis tends to get pretty shabby treatment from those guys), but this seems like an honest mistake. They happen. For instance, the Province might be interested in knowing that Dave Semenko’s still alive:
“With the Canucks, Gillis said, drugs and alcohol were never the problem for Rypien. In fact, he was loath to take even the drugs that were prescribed to him. It’s not the only thing which would separate him from some of the other troubled heavyweights who have died early in life, including Dave Semenko, Bob Probert, John Kordic and Derek Boogaard.”
Apparently someone told them, because the mistake is gone from Botch’s web version, but it’s in print. Like I said, mistakes happen, especially when you’re rushing to meet tight deadlines and don’t have time for one more once-over.
I’m sure Gillis would love to stick it to media out East, who have a tendency to treat him with disregard (like, for instance, when they insinuate he’s just the benefactor of Brian Burke’s extraordinary team-building, basking in a vault full of superstars like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin, or when they try to link him to alleged sex offenders), but if the Canucks are wise, they’ll just let this one go. It won’t be long before someone in their organization makes an honest mistake as well and they require the same level of understanding.Tags: everybody loves mercy, Mike Gillis, Rick Rypien, unfortunate errors