The idea of such a gesture, should you be unaware of the pair’s history, seems pretty harmless – even, some would say, sweet.
The offending message came when Brown, 28, wished his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, 30, best wishes.
‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY @badgalriri’, he posted, apparently unfazed by the potential backlash that would be generated.
A post shared by SILVER AURA INDIGO CHILD (@chrisbrownofficial) on Feb 19, 2018 at 10:23pm PST
The problem arises when we go back to 2009, where the Wild Thoughts singer was brutally beaten to a bloody pulp inside Brown’s car after a blazing row had forced him to pull over.
The photos of Rihanna’s bruised and beaten face shocked the world, with widespread condemnation for the violent act.
As as result, he got five years probation for the assault, but the couple got back together in 2012 for a period.
Back then, RiRi felt responsible for him and that she was the one destined to help turn his life around.
‘I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him. Even after… But you know, you realise after a while that in that situation you’re the enemy,’ she revealed in a candid Vanity Fair interview.
Due to the violent nature of the couple’s past, people didn’t feel it was appropriate for Brown to be sending public, friendly messages to her, after being physically abusive and acting like nothing had ever happened.
Brown has since disabled the comments on that specific post – for obvious reasons – but people vented their anger on Twitter to voice their disapproval.
Just saw Chris Brown wish Rihanna a happy birthday on ig and I feel sick to my stomach. Garbage
— erica (@Erica_Marable) February 20, 2018
Chris Brown wished Rihanna a happy birthday, I feel sick. He needs to leave ALL of his exes alone.
— Amoreena (@lilblondeduck) February 20, 2018
— Ehis Agugu (@ehisagugu) February 20, 2018
Chris Brown is so annoying. Leave Rihanna alone already. She doesn't acknowledge you and she's not going to. Creepy stalker ass.
— #lovelies (@dusktillmani) February 20, 2018
There were still plenty of his fans that found the remark sweet and defended him but in truth it frustrated and upset a lot of people.
Brown is rarely out of controversy, especially when he faced jailed for buying his three-year-old daughter, Royalty, a pet monkey.
If you didn’t know, Rihanna celebrated her 30th birthday yesterday and just in case you were unaware: Rihanna, as hard as it is to imagine, cannot wink.