85-year-old Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry was just fired because he called out immigrants who don’t “respect” the military.
The comments came on Saturday, as Cherry was discussing immigrants and how they don’t honor Canada’s fallen soldiers.
Cherry spoke out during his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night In Canada.” He criticized immigrants who refused to wear “poppy pins” (a symbol for Canada’s fallen soldiers and vets) on Canada’s “Remembrance Day” which is similar to our “Memorial Day.” The pins are sold by veterans groups and are worn to honor those who served.
Here’s what he said: “I live in Mississauga. Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. … Now you go to the small cities. You people … that come here, whatever it is — 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. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.”
He’s 100% correct. And he’s not backing down from his comments. Glad to hear it.
However, the “liberal mob” went nuts and got him fired. What a shame, most of the people complaining probably don’t even watch hockey (too violent and mean!!!).
After immediate backlash on social media Sunday, the majority of media reaction Monday morning called for Cherry’s removal. By the afternoon, word spread that he had been fired.
“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 thing for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for,” Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said in a statement on Monday. “Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.”
Cherry would not take back what he said.
“I know what I said and I meant it,” Cherry told the Toronto Sun after he was fired. “Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”
He added to the newspaper that: “To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot.”
Yabsley had already apologized for Cherry’s comments in a statement Sunday, writing that “Don’s discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network. We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks.”
Both the National Hockey League and Hockey Canada distanced themselves from the comments in separate public statements. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie called Cherry’s remarks “despicable” on Twitter. “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,” she said.
Cherry’s longtime co-host Ron MacLean, who gave a “thumbs-up” to Cherry’s comments during that segment, offered apologies on social media and on the air during Sunday’s Sportsnet NHL coverage: “Don Cherry made remarks which were hurtful, discriminatory, which were flat out wrong. We at Sportsnet have apologized. We know diversity is the strength of the country. I owe you an apology, too. I sat there, I did not catch it, I did not respond.”
Cherry refused to apologize Sunday as well. “I have had my say,” he told the Sun. [ESPN]
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