While snapping pics, the Biebs stepped squarely on the Hawks' iconic logo in the center of the locker room. A photo of the transgression was posted on social media, setting off a frenzy of anti-Bieber comments.
Even Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw got into the act, as he tweeted Wednesday afternoon: "Bro no stepping on the logo @justinbieber that's money on the board! #gutty".
Hawks winger Brandon Bollig later tweeted Wednesday: "After this stunt I'm not sure who's disliked more in Chicago. Bieber or Torres?" Torres is Rafi Torres, who's been suspended numerous times by the NHL, including for a vicious hit on Marian Hossa during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bieber later Wednesday tweeted from his official account: "In life u will make mistakes and people will try and tear u down...but u gotta stay positive. Stay strong..and learn to be better..and......always live to serve others and The Lord. #growingeveryday".
It wasn't clear if this was related to him stepping on the Hawks' logo.
Hockey players are extremely superstitious, and all NHL teams prohibit stepping on logos on locker room carpeting. A Chicago Tribune article in 2009 quoted former Blackhawks forward Adam Burish noting: "Nobody steps on the logo in the middle of the room. ... It's part of the way it is. When I was in college, it was the same way. It's a hockey respect kind of thing."
Those rules apparently didn't apply to Bieber, who's Canadian and was in town for a show at the U.C. Tuesday night.
Peter Hassen, the Hawks' senior director of market development and community affairs, wrote from his Twitter account that "people need to relax" because "Justin Bieber reaches the same market audience that we will need to be the next Blackhawks fans."
Hassen and other Blackhawks officials did not immediately return phone calls seeking feedback Wednesday.
Late Wednesday, Brandon Faber, the Hawks' senior director for communications and community relations, sent a statement to the Tribune:
"Bieber was very excited to see the Stanley Cup when he entered our locker room last night. As frequently happens with guests into our room, Justin inadvertantly stepped on the team logo on the floor but moved off quickly once immediately reminded. He was apologetic and understanding of the tradition but continued to take photos with the Cup and some young fans. He was extremely genuine and kind with his time. We appreciate his enthusiasm towards hockey and wish him well with the remainder of his tour."