Canadian cities tend to go crazy when their teams are in the Stanley Cup Finals.
This applies win or lose. Montreal residents have rioted in the past when their hockey team, the Canadiens, won the top prize in the NHL. Strange way to celebrate a win.
Alas, Vancouver exploded last night after Boston destroyed the team’s hopes of winning Lord Stanley's Cup. According to CTV
“Cars were overturned, store windows were smashed and smoke was billowing from overturned vehicles that had been lit ablaze. Looters were seen stealing makeup, clothing and even a mannequin from major retailers including the Bay, Chapters and Sears."
Mayor Gregor Robertson was predictably angry, calling the riots “absolutely disgraceful and shameful,” CTV reported.
This sort of nonsense does not jibe with the typical perception of “the genteel, polite Canadian.” Perhaps more unbelievable in such an expansive country is that Montreal and Vancouver—two cities with a very different vibes and personalities— had the same reactions to Stanley Cup hockey.
Images and reports of the riots have spread across the globe, prompting one observer to offer a frank assessment on the public perception of Vancouver.
Bob Whitelaw, who investigated a Montreal riot, told CTV's Canada AM that the rioters probably did at least $1 million in property damage, but “$1 billion worth of bad publicity for the City of Vancouver.”
It’s time to smarten up. Rioting after a sporting event—win, lose, or draw—puts a terrible face on an otherwise wonderful city.
Jackson Wightman is a
PR Daily contributing editor based in Montreal.