If you’re not a sports fan, or just someone who has been living under the proverbial rock, you might not have heard about the Don Cherry drama, so let us quickly fill you in.
On this past Saturday’s night hockey broadcast, legendary broadcaster for Sportsnet, Don Cherry, went on something of a rant in regards to Remembrance Day. Cherry, who lives in Mississauga, targeted immigrants in Mississauga and Toronto, claiming they do not respect the country’s heritage and what Remembrance Day is all about.
You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” said Cherry. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.
The internet reacted, as it always does, in lightning-fast fashion, calling for Cherry to be fired instantly. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie was amongst the first to react to the news, and she decried Cherry’s words while claiming diversity to be one of our country’s biggest strengths.
For @CoachsCornerDC to say that “you people” do not respect 🇨🇦 or our veterans is despicable. We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we‘ll always stand up for it. New immigrants enrich our country for the better. We’re all Canadians and wear our poppies proudly.
— Bonnie Crombie 🇨🇦 (@BonnieCrombie) November 10, 2019
The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council received so many complaints about the commentator’s rant that it hit the limit of the organisation’s technical processing capacity. Two days later, on Monday November 11th, Sportsnet released a statement on its social media accounts that announced Cherry’s departure from the company. The announcement was as follows:
“Sports brings people together – it unites us, not divides us. Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Cherry has made controversial remarks; in 2016 he famously called-out the “left-wing kooks” in the United States when they said that, should Donald Trump win the election, they would be moving. Cherry said that he didn’t want them coming to Canada because “we have enough of these type here now.”
Speaking to The Toronto Sun earlier on Monday, Cherry reacted to the news of his firing:
I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov. 9.
I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers. I speak the truth and I walk the walk. I have visited the bases of the troops, been to Afghanistan with our brave soldiers at Christmas, been to cemeteries of our fallen around the world and honoured our fallen troops on Coach’s Corner.
So it seems Cherry isn’t backing and down. Which we would completely expect from the outspoken 85 year-old, who played for fourteen teams in various hockey leagues and had a massively successful coaching and commentating career. Cherry is a favourite amongst fans for his flamboyant dress style and unique analysis of the game.
However the bottom line is thus: Don Cherry has been fired from Sportsnet for remarks they deem to be racist. Do you believe he should back down? Do you think what he said was wrong? We want to hear from you and what you think about this unfortunate situation that will likely hang over the Canadian hockey scene for the rest of the season.