Beliebers deface tribute to late Canuck Rick Rypien 0
A makeshift memorial honouring Rick Rypien was covered with love notes to the Canadian pop idol after his concert Oct. 10, 2012. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Justin Bieber fans couldn’t contain themselves Wednesday following the Canadian pop star’s performance at Rogers Arena, scrawling professions of love for their idol across an unofficial memorial honouring the late Vancouver Canuck Rick Rypien.
A concrete pillar next to the arena, once covered solely in messages paying tribute to the scrappy forward, was dotted with over a dozen exclamations, including “I (heart) Justin Bieber” and “J.B. Concert Oct. 10/2012 — Simran Mann.”
Pictures of the defaced tribute outraged Canucks fans on Twitter as hundreds of sports enthusiasts took aim at an account apparently belonging to Mann.
User @Nahal_13 wrote, “@SIMRAN_MANN_ You better wash that stupid writing of yours before someone kicks your ass,” while @kashasandhu tweeted, “The Simran Mann girl who wrote "I <3 JB" on Rick Rypien's memorial wall, deserves to be punched.”
The @SIMRAN_MANN_ account was closed Thursday morning.
Not all users, however, were calling for the heads of Bieber fans. User @twistedvixen tweeted, “Vandalizing a memorial is wrong. So is harassing and threatening a young girl who made a mistake.”
Attempts to scrub the Bieber love with nail-polish remover resulted in the liquid dripping down the concrete and damaging some of the Rypien tributes.
Canucks fan Andrew Nicholson, who visited the memorial, said he was “disgusted” to find his message to Rypien ruined.
“It’s not cool. It’s like going and spray-painting a headstone at a graveyard.”
The New Westminster resident said Rypien, who suffered from depression and committed suicide in August 2011, didn’t deserve to have his memorial tarnished.
He blamed the Bieber fans’ young age and lack of parental supervision at the concert for the messages.
“You don’t see Metallica fans coming up to (the memorial) and writing Metallica stuff on it,” he said. “Metallica fans are mostly adults and adults know better.”