Fired host Don Cherry not apologizing for you people rant on Hockey Night in Canada – CTV News

Fired host Don Cherry not apologizing for \you people\ rant on Hockey Night in Canada - CTV News
WARMINGTON: Don Cherry fired over controversial poppy comment
Fired hockey commentator Don Cherry declined to apologize Monday for comments he made about newcomers which cost him his job.

If I had gone on and said a few things and done a few things I definitely would have been back, Cherry said in an interview with Newstalk 1010.

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.

Sportsnet announces Don Cherry to immediately step down from HNIC

Cherry was removed from Sportsnet Monday following a rant on Saturdays Hockey Night in Canada in which he implied that immigrants in Toronto are not paying their respects to Canadian veterans by wearing poppies.

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)

On this weeks Coachs Corner segment, the 85-year-old said that hes less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers.

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.

Don Cherrys weaponization of poppy dangerously perverts Canadas national identity

"I live in Mississauga … very few people wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto? Forget it, nobody wears a poppy."

Don Cherry fired after scolding immigrants who dont wear poppies

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

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the president of Sportsnet said that Cherrys comments do not represent our values or what we stand for.

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

"Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday nights broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down, the statement reads.

It could have been anybody, it could have been Irish, it could have been the Scots, it could have been the English, it could have been anybody, Cherry said.

What I meant was everybody, everybody and I mean everybody should be wearing a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers who gave their lives for our way of life.

In many ways, however, this situation represents a missed opportunity for advocacy. Veterans deserve to be much better supported in terms of health care, education, and other social services. Using its platform, Hockey Night should have reacted to Cherry's statement by creating a movement to raise awareness about veterans' issues.

The firing of Cherry came hours after the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), the agency that deals with viewer and listener complaints across Canada, put a statement on their website saying their technical processing capacities have been exceeded.

His callous employment of "you people that come here, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy," is a window into his anger at how Canada has changed, and it is the manifestation of a futile resistance to an inevitable multicultural and diverse evolution.

"The CBSC has received a large number of very similar complaints concerning Coachs Corner broadcast on CBC (Sportsnet) on Nov. 9, 2019," the statement said.

"While the CBSC will be dealing with this broadcast under its normal process, it is not able to accept any further complaints."

The Royal Canadian Legion took to social media Monday afternoon to all Cherrys opinion "hurtful, divisive and in no way condoned by the Legion."

Adam Kassam is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialist physician who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Adam received an undergraduate education from Cornell University , an MD from Dartmouth Medical School and a Master's in Public Health from Columbia University.

"We know many new Canadians understand and welcome the tradition of the red poppy and will continue to educate all citizens about the significance of this powerful symbol," the Legion said in a tweet.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said over the weekend that Cherrys comments were "despicable."

"Were proud of diverse cultural heritage and well always stand up for it," Crombie said on social media.

For many, though, Saturdays comments seemed to be a bridge too far. The Canada Broadcast Standards Council issued a plea to people to stop reporting Cherrys comments to them, saying it had already received more complaints than it was able to process.

Toronto Mayor John Tory also commented on Sunday, saying that the rant was "way off base."

Cherry has periodically attracted controversy for making comments deriding Europeans, French-Canadians and people who ride bicycles. In 2003, his segment was placed on a seven-second delay after he criticized Canadas decision not to join the Iraq War.

Don Cherry is way off base to question the devotion of newer Canadians to the very same veterans and the sacrifices we will honour tomorrow on Remembrance Day. His comments are unfair and just plain wrong.

Some residents of Mississauga, where Cherry lives, were surprised to learn that Sportsnet had cut ties with the commentator on Monday afternoon. Speaking to CTV News Toronto outside a local hockey rink, one resident said that he did not appreciate Cherrys comments over the weekend.

Lou Williams scored 21 points, Kawhi Leonard just missed a triple-double in his first game against his former team and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors 98-88 on Monday night.

I dont know why you would divide between any kind of Canadians. We are all Canadians, said Chris Pearson.

While we recognize Don Cherrys four decades of service broadcasting NHL games, todays decision was a justifiable response to his comments on Saturday night, said the National Hockey League.

Another resident said that the comments seem like one in a long string of things that Cherry has said.

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At the same time, others say that the comments were taken out of context and that the message is appropriate if applied generally to all people.

I think the message is positive, go buy your poppies, said one resident identified only as Adam. Its kind of a tricky situation.

The National Hockey League, Sportsnet and co-host Ron MacLean have all issued statements condemning what Cherry said on the program. Cherry has not commented thus far. 

Cherry played professional hockey until 1969 and then coached both the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Rockies. He joined Coachs Corner as a sports commentator in 1982 after he retired from the sport.

The broadcaster was never one to shy away from his own political opinions. In 2010, Cherry appeared at Toronto Mayor Rob Fords inauguration in a pink floral-patterned suit for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. He added that left-leaning politicians in Toronto and their supporters scrape the bottom of the barrel.

In 2017, Cherry criticized the media for their coverage of athletes kneeling during the playing of the national anthem to protest the treatment of black people by American police.

Hockey Night in Canada was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a 12-year, $5.2 billion national broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014.

The show is still broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet. But the show is run by Sportsnet and filmed in its studio in the CBC building in Toronto.

"As Rogers Sportsnet is the national rights holder for NHL Hockey in Canada, CBC has no purview over any editorial (choice of commentators or what they say) with respect to Hockey Night in Canada," CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said in an email.

Fired hockey commentator Don Cherry declined to apologize Monday for comments he made about newcomers which cost him his job.