Sportsnet as fired iconic Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry following controversial comments Cherry made during his “Coach’s Corner” segment during “Hockey Night in Canada”.
Cherry used the segment to allege that the country’s immigrants didn’t properly honor the country’s fallen soldiers, criticizing individuals who didn’t wear poppy pins, pins sold by veterans groups and worn to honor those who served, leading up to the nation’s Remembrance Day.
“I live in Mississauga [Ontario]” Cherry said, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.
“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,” Cherry said.
Cherry, 85, was fired following backlash on Social media following the segment.
“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 stood his ground, and by his comments.
“I know what I said and I meant it,” Cherry said, according to the Toronto Sun. “Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”
“To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot.”