Rick Rypien memorial defaced by Justin Bieber fan intelligentsia

We passed the first anniversary of Rick Rypien’s death just two months ago, on August 15. In that year, the former Canucks winger has been anything but forgotten. Despite playing only 119 games in a Canucks uniform, Rypien left an indelible impression on the city of Vancouver, one that his death has only deepened. Kevin Bieksa and the Canucks launched Mindcheck.ca, a website where visitors struggling with mental health issues like Rypien’s can get connected to support early and quickly, and that site quietly became a provincial resource back in January. Ryp’s death was hardly in vain.

But Mindcheck isn’t the only lasting tribute to Rypien. There’s also the column outside of Rogers Arena that still bears messages from the impromptu memorial Ellen Ransford and other fans put together after Rypien took his life (pictured above). While many of the construction paper cards, posterboard signs, flowers and whatnot are gone, the writing on the pillar has remained untouched.

That is, until Justin Bieber came to town last night. Brace yourselves.

What we know for sure: this person is not Banksy.

Also, this is a travesty.

Now, before we freak out too much, it’s important to remember that Justin Bieber fans, as a group, are not known for their intellect or social awareness. Consider the case of Eric McGriff. Or the girl who carved — yes, literally carved — “JB I love” into her forearm. Or Greg Leuch, whose program that censors Bieber from your web browsing had fans calling him Hitler, because basic blocking software is akin to death chambers to these people? Several tweeted death threats to Selena Gomez when her relationship with Biebs hit the press. And how about this group of girls screaming at a guy that isn’t Justin Bieber outside his hotel room window? I could go on.

It’s a level of unintelligence I can hardly fathom, but it would be a surprise, to me, to learn that the person had a full understanding of the column’s significance when she broke out the sharpie. I’d guess this particular young lady, in the delirium of post-concert Bieber Fever, saw a graffiti’d pillar and thought she’d add to it with almost no synapses working to determine what the rest of the graffiti was about.

Further evidence: if she were smarter, not only would she have realized what she was doing, but she wouldn’t have signed it. I don’t know much about delinquency, but it seems to me an act of either willful ignorance or malice is the sort of thing you don’t attach your name to. Especially since, by signing it, she made it very, very easy to track her down once the poop hit the oscillator, as it were. And, since her Twitter account happens to be little more than her name and some underscores, she was easy to find and eviscerate. By this morning, she’d faced such an onslaught of rage that her account was gone. She faced death threats. That’s awful.

Stupid? Yes. Deserving of that level of verbal assault from the righteous Internet, especially considering that bullying has been linked to the sort of depression that Mindcheck was launched to combat? Hardly.

On the bright side, if the Rogers Arena staff see fit to remove the massive, gaudy tribute to Justin Bieber from Ryp’s column, we’re likely only going to lose the “Rypper” inside the heart. That’s not the end of the world.

s/t to Reddit.

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23 comments

  1. Kenji
    October 11, 2012

    I should have taken a picture of the sign being carried by one of his fans outside the stadium: “PUKE ON ME JUSTIN”

    That’s fandom right there

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  2. sara
    October 11, 2012

    I have absolutely ZERO sympathy for any of these morons. If they are now facing an onslaught of rage well then gee, what a shame. Are people supposed to just sit back and say, “awww, that’s okay, go ahead and vandalize a memorial to a young man who meant so much to the city and to people suffering from depression. You want to deface it fine, no problem!” Please! Each one of these idiots should be fined for defacing public property and should be forced to pay for the clean up.

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    • canucks_rulz
      October 11, 2012

      yeah let’s all attack and bully the little girl, so that she can go under depression state.. something totally opposite of what mindcheck is trying to achieve.. Makes total sense…

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      • sara
        October 11, 2012

        “Attacking”? “Bullying”?? Expecting them to pay for the damage they caused is attacking and bullying?? How exactly is criticizing their disgusting behavior bullying?? It is pretty easy to see why children are behaving this way when they are given free reign to behave this way.

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        • Mittens
          October 11, 2012

          If death threats and telling someone to kill themselves don’t count as attacking and bullying you live in an incredibly warped world

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          • sara
            October 11, 2012

            Where is that coming from? Read above. The poster was replying to my email which in no way advocates telling someone to kill themselves.

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            • Brent
              October 11, 2012

              Where is it coming from? Well you did say ” If they are now facing an onslaught of rage well then gee, what a shame.” So basically you were saying it is fine what ever people were saying to her. Now I know you probably had not checked out the link to see a small collection of some of the tweets she received, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. But you probably have heard the recent tragic news about a young girls suicide in Maple Ridge. Bullying does cause people to become depressed and cyber bulling is very insidious these days. We all need to chose our words carefully.

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    • Nee
      October 12, 2012

      The news articles about this story showed many twitter messages directed at this girl which were very angry/hostile, and some suggested that she should kill herself.

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  3. Hotaru1787
    October 11, 2012

    That’s just sad…

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  4. russburger
    October 11, 2012

    The fact that kids are walking around with sharpies in their pockets/purses ready to break them out and deface property when the whim strikes them annoys the crap out of me. It’s a shame she decided to do it here (I have no doubt she had no idea of the significance of the spot, and threats of violence and death are way, way, way out of line ), but I would hazard a guess that she would probably have done it just about anywhere. It isn’t okay to vandalize other people’s stuff.

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    • tom selleck's moustache
      October 11, 2012

      Not necessarily. Keep in mind that these are young girls who are probably there with a, even if faint, hope of meeting the object(s) of their infatuations. In such a scenario, one would want to have a writing untensil handy for signing any number of things that girls get such celebrity to sign. I wouldn’t be surprised if she, and others, had brought said sharpies along “just in case”.

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  5. pb
    October 11, 2012

    If this Simran Mann has some human decency, she should do the following immediately:
    1. Issue a full apology to the Canucks
    2. Pay the full cost to have that graffiti removed
    3. Make a donation to Mindcheck.ca

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  6. swizzler
    October 11, 2012

    a ‘poster’ child for the stupid, ignorant, and outspoken youth of today.
    good riddance

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  7. tj
    October 11, 2012

    Wow, any defense of the vitriol spewed by the twitterverse undermines the very point of mindcheck.ca and what it serves to do: give people a support in the face of something dark and horrendous. This young girl was in a happy place, albeit misguided, and then the righteous pile on and say some of the nastiest crap they could to ‘put her in her place.’ Know what? I think Rypien would be disgusted by the those twitterfans, having dealt with himself misdirection of pain and wrath.

    Once again, Canucks ‘fans’ embarrass me.

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  8. Brent
    October 11, 2012

    Agree with you Harrison, ya stupid thing to do but she did not deserve the diatribe directed at her. Reading some of the comments sent to her twitter account was disturbing. I mean telling someone to go kill themselves for defacing a memorial to someone who committed suicide!?! Give your head a shake buddy.

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    • tj
      October 11, 2012

      So I essentially say the same thing, with the added mention that I’m embarrassed by their behaviour and I get thumbed-down. (Shakes head).

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      • Brent
        October 11, 2012

        Probably didn’t notice (or understand) you quotations around “fans”.

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  9. BP
    October 11, 2012

    I dunno, public shaming seems a reasonable way to dissuade bad behaviour.

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  10. tj
    October 11, 2012

    Public shaming is never okay. Grow up.

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    • tj
      October 11, 2012

      It would seem PitB has been over-run with 14-year-olds. I’ll return when hockey returns and the intellect returns.

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    • rvtBC
      October 11, 2012

      With respect, I disagree. Public shaming can be a useful form of peer pressure as a means of denunication and deterrence. But it can also quite easily cross the line into completely inappropriate behaviour too and become oppressive, which is what, in my opinion, occurred in this case with all the vitrol hurled at this girl.

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  11. Sean Dempsey
    October 11, 2012

    I live about 2 miles form JB in LA. I might leave a Rick Rypien memorial on his street, if I can get into the gated community.

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  12. nelson95
    October 12, 2012

    Now Canook fans can blame the Bieb on their lack of championships

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