Gotta Watch: Sports riots
Riot police stand in front of two burning police cars as people look on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
June 16th, 2011
11:54 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Sports riots

Sports inspire passion among its fans, but sometimes that fervor literally turns into fire. Both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can ignite a sports riot. Sometimes the violence ends in property damage, but there are instances where people attain severe injuries. You gotta watch how sports can turn into sparks.

Vancouver burns – The Boston Bruins bested the Vancouver Canucks for the NHL Stanley Cup and Canuck fans didn’t take it well. In scenes that mirrored 1994 when Canucks fans rampaged the streets after a Game Seven loss to the New York Rangers, they rioted in the face of defeat. The mob trashed the streets, burned cars and even fought one another.
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Basketball brawl – It started on the court, but quickly moved to the stands. The nation was shocked to see basketball superstars engaging in fisticuffs with fans. In one very vivid moment, you can see Ron Artest punching a fan in the face.
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Denver rising – The Denver Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons in 1998 for a Super Bowl win. But it was Denver fans that grabbed headlines when they headed to the streets and rioted to celebrate the victory.
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Filed under: Basketball • Gotta Watch • Hockey • NHL • Sports
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. toosoxy

    Crazy. Crazy and sad.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • GK

      Way to go, The thugs in BC, riot, burn, loot and destroy all over a hockey game ? What a way to show everyone there maturity. Hey I am not against having fun, but not at the expense of others. Now it seems to be the norm to take it to the streets with our displeasure of something we disprove of. Poor baby's they cant spell job, but they can burn it all down. This is what we have to look forward to. Trouble is they contribute to the gene pool. Scary Thought!!!!!!

      June 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crocker

      Even scarier: They can procreate and vote.....

      June 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rabble..

    Many sports fans have no lives. Their greatest joy in life is watching overpaid men play with sticks and bawls, so when their favorite swordfighter wins or loses they can't cope like a normal person

    June 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Its called a hobby, you should find one. Sports are a great hobby and much more interactive than building your train set in the basement. D-bag.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crocker

      The Romans understood the concept very well with the staged fights in the coliseum. It kept the populace occupied by giving them someone or something to root for – which made it easier for the government to control them and less likely for unrest to develop. But you gotta have control to a degree and some accountability when people forget they are supposed to act in a civilized manner.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crocker

      Best joke ever regarding hockey. I went to a brawl and a hockey game broke out. The game and lack of control fosters this kind of behavior.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rabble..

      @Tom: I have a hobby and it's called women. If I wanted to watch sweaty men play grab &$$ I'd move to Frisco or Key West. I also live in an apartment on the top floor, so there's no basement. I go to the gym too and can see the benefit of playing an aerobic activity, but most sports fans are anything but athletic. See ya later Tom the tool. Have fun gazing at large sweaty men, their sticks and admiring their bawl handling skills.. ooooh.. Is it getting hot in here or is it just Shaq? Lmao

      June 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |


    June 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      It's called Caps Lock.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shauna

      I don't know what you were watching, but from what I saw, the fans were cheering when Boston received the cup. They showed class, unlike the rioters.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      I heard a lot of booing too. Whatever...the Bruins fans will make up for it on Sat.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • hockey fan

      they gave both thomas and the bruins a standing o. all the boos were for bettman.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sadsac

      Just another dope who doesn't understand what's going on. Did you watch the game? They didn't boo Tim Thomas or Boston. They booed the commissioner of Hockey who is hated. For our safety you didn’t bred yet did ya?

      June 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Genius

      Being Albertan, I hate the Canucks, but I have to admit the fans are classier than the Bruins fans. I'm talking about the fans INSIDE the arenas, not the morons on the street.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |


    June 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bruce

    Boston girl you rock. How about you do a little cheer for my sweetie.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleTap


      June 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DoubleTap

    Malice in the Palace??? that was a joke, and that happened briefly in the stadium with the players...doesn't compare to all the burning, rioting, looting and anarchy that happens everywhere else, CNN got too lazy and didn't dig say the last time Vancouver was in the finals and they did they same thing!

    June 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crys

      The fight in the Palace is nothing compared to the riots in Detroit after the Pistons won championships in the early 90's. Even the 1999 riots on Michigan State's capus following their loss in NCAA basketball trumps the skirmish in the Palace.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Thenextstep

    Yeah, every sport has its core psychos.... Well I guess except golf. I didn't hear about to many riots when Tiger Woods was brought to light................. 🙂

    June 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crocker

      It has to do with contact sports. The Romans understood the concept very well with the staged fights in the coliseum. It kept the populace occupied by giving them someone to root for – which made it easier for the government to control them and less likely for unrest to develop. But you gotta have control to a degree and some accountability when people forget they are supposed to act in a civilized manner.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. baller23

    So they choose to flip their own cars and destroy their own city? I think we would be reading different comments if this was a Muslim country.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alienxfb14

      If this were a Muslim city, we'd be reading about decapitations, not setting garbage cans on fire.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crocker

      So, that makes it ok then?

      June 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marbles

    They weren't booing Thomas. In fact they gave him an ovation when he lifted the cup. They were booing Bettman when he came on the ice to announce MVP (Thomas) and the Stanley Cup to Boston. It's a ritual to boo him since he is such a pompass ass, and has ruin the sport from a Canadian perspective.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |

    Caps lock... on purpose... notice certain name not in CAPS?

    June 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |

    @ Thenextstep- yeah obviously can't express how they feel... uneducated not too bright! No Pun intented

    June 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Crocker

    Win or lose, these morons are looking for an excuse to riot. If I had my way, you drop a few and the rest realize very quickly that this might not be the best activity to be involved in.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lila

    There was a lot of booing at Thomas and the Bruins. I know the spin is it was only at Bettman, whatever. It doesn't matter. The Bruins will have great parade on Sat. The city of Vancouver has more to worry about, people were attacked and there was a tremendous amount of property damage.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Amy

    I love how so many Americans are making fun of this. It's not like Americans NEVER riot after a sporting event. Just 8 months ago there was rioting in San Fransisco after the Giants won the World Series.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      I don't think it was funny at all, the video of that poor man get attacked by the crowd was terrible.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      What about the Giants' fan that went to LA on opening day and was beaten within inches of his life just for wearing a Giants shirt to the game? He's STILL in critical condition.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      What about it? It was disgusting. LA Lakers fans have burned cars and acted like a bunch of animals too. There is no excuse for fans to act that way.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      The celebrations that occured in San Francisco after the Giants world series win was minor compared to this. Sure there are idiots in every crowd that will be destructive but at no time was it as bad in San Francisco as it was in Vancouver last night.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steve harnack

    Just had to get that in there did ya? What makes you think that you have a clue about anything that happens outside of your basement?

    June 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      What makes you think I'm Canadian? I lived in Chicago when they rioted on Rush St after the Bulls won the NBA Championship. I'm simply stating that those who live in glass houses probably shouldn't throw stones

      June 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abused Internet Insult Detector

      Red alert! The "mommy's basement" insult has already been used in this article. Please use another insult, so things don't get stale. Next violation will bring with it a fine and/or imprisonment... Or an extension to your virginity. 🙂

      June 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
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