Rogers Sportsnet announces Don Cherry is no longer on Hockey Night In Canada – TSN

Rogers Sportsnet announces Don Cherry is no longer on Hockey Night In Canada - TSN
Sportsnet announces Don Cherry to immediately step down from HNIC
2h ago Don Cherry no longer on Hockey Night In Canada Hockey commentator Don Cherry has been let go by Rogers Sportsnet. The company made the announcement on Monday following Cherrys comments on Coachs Corner that appeared to single out new immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area for not showing deference for the Canadian armed forces by wearing poppies. The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Don Cherry, Canadas most polarizing, flamboyant and opinionated hockey commentator, was fired Monday for calling immigrants “you people” in a television rant in which he said new immigrants are not honouring the countrys fallen soldiers.

Rogers Sportsnet President Bart Yabsley announced the decision in a statement following discussions with the 85-year-old broadcaster.

In spite of regular controversies over his comments on a range of issues, Cherry remained popular with a significant proportion of Canadas hockey-viewing audience and would have been, alongside MacLean, one of the biggest names visiting the city for Hockey Day.

“It has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down,” Yabsley said. “During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”

However, Sportsnet appeared to cut all ties with Cherry in a statement posted to Twitter. On Saturdays “Coachs Corner” segment of Hockey Night in Canada, the 85-year-old had stated he believed new immigrants do not wear poppies and do not support veterans.

UPDATE: Cherry Steps Down Over Poppy Comments

Cherry derided immigrants by saying, “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,” Cherry said Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

The tradition of wearing poppies in Canada honours the countrys war dead on Remembrance Day, which was observed Monday.

Later on Monday, according to the Toronto Sun, Cherry said being fired on Remembrance Day hurt because I would have liked to continue doing Coachs Corner. The problem is if I have to watch everything I say, it isnt Coachs Corner.

Cherry has provided commentary following the first intermission of “Hockey Night in Canada” for more than three decades.

Michael Farber spoke to Mitch Melnick about Hockey Night in Canadas decision to part ways with Don Cherry.

"That doesn't mean because I don't wear my poppy, you know that doesn't make me a Canadian or I don't know what Remembrance Day is" says caller Mohammed.  "This guy is just ignorant and I don't want him fired, I just want him to look stupid all the time when he talks, I enjoy his stupidity."

Known for his outlandish suits, Cherry often mangled the names of foreign-born players over the years and occasionally weighed in with thoughts on politics.

"I agree with him in many, many ways" says Nobrega.  "Maybe he gets under a lot of people's skin, but I think he had a valid point.  You come here you've got to adopt some of the customs.  You can't bring all your customs here."

“Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game,” Yabsley said “We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.”

Cherry has not apologized for his remarks. Longtime segment co-host Ron MacLean apologized Sunday evening. MacLean didnt object to Cherrys remarks Saturday and gave Cherry a thumbs-up during the broadcast.

The decision comes after controversial comments made by Cherry during Saturday night's broadcast when he insinuated immigrants and new Canadians don't have respect for veterans because they don't wear poppies.

“I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers,” Cherry told the Toronto Sun newspaper in Monday. No explanation was provided for his “you people” comment.

Monday Links, News & Notes: The Final Straw for Don Cherry?

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it was so overloaded with complaints about the segment that it exceeded the organizations technical processing capacity.

"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," Cherry said Saturday night. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."

The boys on OverDrive give their thoughts to start the show on the breaking news that Don Cherry will no longer be on Hockey Night in Canada.

Sportsnet apologized Sunday for Cherry's comments on "Coach's Corner" about his belief that new immigrants don't wear poppies, and in turn, don't support veterans. The outburst sparked a swift backlash from the public, politicians and the National Hockey League.

Cherrys remarks prompted Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who is Sikh, and Toronto Mayor John Tory to say that Cherrys remarks were wrong. Tory said Cherry was “way off base to question the devotion of newer Canadians.”

"He's a very smart broadcaster,'' Yabsley said at the time. "Make no mistake. He knows what he's saying. And as far as Ron goes, if there's a more talented broadcaster in the country, I don't know who it is. He's absolutely fabulous.''

Before beginning his life in front of the camera in 1980, Cherry was a rugged defenceman and career minor leaguer. He played all of one game in the NHL — a playoff game with the Boston Bruins, with whom he won coach of the year honours in 1976.

"Don's discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network," he said. "We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks."

Video: Remembrance Day: Canadas history of immigrants who served and why we wear poppies

Sportsnet cuts ties with Don Cherry

His presence on “Hockey Night in Canada” hasnt been the only contentious part of the broadcast. Chinese technology giant Huawei is a major sponsor and its red fan-shaped logo is plastered prominently on the set.

"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 that 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.

Video: Remembrance Day: Canadas history of immigrants who served and why we wear poppies

The cheery corporate message contrasts with the standoff over the arrest in Canada of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant. In apparent retaliation, China detained two Canadians and plans to execute a third — heavy-handed tactics that give Huaweis sponsorship a surreal quality on “Hockey Night in Canada.”

"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," Cherry said on Saturday's edition of Coach's Corner. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."

Hockey analyst Don Cherry will immediately step down from his role with Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet announced 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." 

Don Cherry to immediately step down in aftermath of poppy controversy

The news comes one day after Sportsnet issued an apology for comments Cherry made during Saturday night’s Hockey Night broadcast. During Coach’s Corner, Cherry singled out new immigrants for not wearing poppies to honour Canadian veterans and soldiers ahead of Remembrance Day.

Cherry seemingly singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga on-air, for not honouring Canada's veterans and dead soldiers.

The 85-year-old Cherry has been on Coachs Corner since 1982 when the program was first started on CBC.

Sportsnet Presidents Bart Yabsley apologized for Cherry's comments on Sunday, but released the following statement, Monday:

He was a voice every Saturday night for hockey fans across the country, appearing alongside Coachs Corner host Ron MacLean since 1986. His coverage extended into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well.

I want to sincerely apologize to our viewers and Canadians. During last night's broadcast, Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently. It was a divisive moment and I am truly upset with myself for allowing it. (1/2)

Coachs Corner joined Sportsnets NHL coverage after Rogers acquired the NHL television rights in 2014.