#RipHamilton trend scares fans of musical who didn't know about basketball star who made mask a court thing

Incidentally, it was on July 11 in 1804 when the American founding father Alexander Hamilton was fatally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr


                            #RipHamilton trend scares fans of musical who didn't know about basketball star who made mask a court thing
Rip Hamilton (Getty Images)/Lin-Manuel Miranda in 'Hamilton' (IMDb)

On Saturday, July 11, a strange trend made its way onto Twitter. The hashtag #RIPHamilton had thousands of fans of the Broadway musical ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ worried.

Fortunately for them, the trend was not about the play based on the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It was about now-retired professional basketball player Richard Hamilton, who is more popularly known as Rip Hamilton.

It all started innocuously enough from a tweet by ESPN. The official Twitter account of the sports channel shared a photo of five NBA legends — Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant, Hamilton, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid — asking which of them was the best masked player ever. 

Basketball players often wear clear protective masks on their faces after they’ve experienced facial injuries. More often than not, it’s a broken nose. In the early part of the 2003–04 season, Hamilton broke his nose twice. Consequently, he was advised to wear a face mask to prevent significant nasal reconstructive surgery. Unlike others, however, the clear plastic face mask became his trademark. And it would go on to become something he wore in all games for the rest of his playing career, which ended in 2013.

Several fans of the game answered with Rip Hamilton, leading to the formation of the trend. A fan wrote, “Rip Hamilton WAS the mask. He’s not better than Kobe or Lebron obviously, but who wore it best? The answer is Rip. Side note: this would be a heck of a starting 5.”

While fans of the musical panicked for a moment, fans of the sport and the basketball player had a laugh. Sharing a worried GIF of Titus Burgess, a Twitter user wrote, “Theatre nerds finding out Rip Hamilton is the name of a basketball player.”

Another, clearly chuffed user pointed out, “Saw RIP HAMILTON trending, and said that happened July 11, 1804.” Yet another wrote, “S***... saw RIP Hamilton trending & thought Burr shot him again,” referring to Aaron Burr, who challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804. Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

On the side of the musical’s fans, a Twitter user wrote, “I saw ‘Rip Hamilton’ trending and thought Someone was trying to cancel the musical. Turns out it’s some guy’s name.” Another pointed out, “I saw Rip Hamilton and realized it was about basketball… But Hamilton was shot on this day… So...both? I guess? I dunno.”

To sum things up, a Twitter user wrote, "So 'Rip Hamilton' started trending because of this ESPN tweet, but July 11th also just so happens to be the anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel — so now it's melding into a 'RIP Hamilton' trend as well. What a thing."

‘Hamilton’, the musical, landed on Disney Plus last week and has since been the talking-point of fans worldwide, who had so far only heard of its brilliance. In fact, Disney Plus CEO Bob Chapek, in a company meeting on July 9, informed employees that ‘Hamilton’ brought in a lot of new subscribers to the platform. According to a report on The Verge, Disney’s new head of streaming, Rebecca Campbell, said that ‘Hamilton’ was able to accomplish the mammoth task of bringing in people who might not have been interested in Disney Plus before.

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