The Canadian sports community went into collective shock as Don Cherry finally took his knack for controversial views a little too far. After being a long-time commentator for Hockey Night in Canada, he was fired over the remark that he made about immigrants during his last weekend broadcast. Don Cherry has never hidden his penchant for garish getups, but he found himself the target for heavy criticism after his off-hand comments.
During the “Coach’s Corner” segment of the show, Cherry, who is 85 years old, expressed the view that immigrants living in and around Toronto do not show adequate respect for the Canadian military veterans. He drew this conclusion from the fact they tend not to wear the poppy, which is considered to be a Remembrance Day symbol in the country. The poppy is sold in order to raise funds that are dedicated to supporting the Canadian military veterans and their families.
Cherry publicly referred to immigrants ‘you people” and went on to accuse them of taking advantage of the country without giving anything back. He insinuated that new Canadians do not respect the veterans who made their immigration possible in the first place.
After passing these comments on public television, Cherry found himself facing intense criticism from all quarters. Viewers, alongside the National Hockey League, acknowledged their dissatisfaction. Cherry’s sidekick on “Coach’s Corner” sidekick, Ron MacLean, took to Twitter the following day to express regret at not challenging Cherry’s comment then and there.
The President of Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Sportsnet, Bart Yabsley, termed Cherry’s remark as “offensive” and “discriminatory,” and assured that he does not reflect the company’s values in any way. Yabsley revealed later that Sportsnet fired Cherry for promoting racial bias and discrimination.