Hockey Institution Don Cherry Fired After Anti-Immigrant Rant

Cherry's comments were condemned by both the NHL and Sportsnet

Hockey Institution Don Cherry Fired for Anti-Immigrant Rant
Hockey commentator Don Cherry does a TV interview. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / November 11, 2019 3:41 pm

Legendary Canadian hockey broadcaster Don Cherry has been fired following an anti-immigrant rant during his “Coach’s Corner” segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.

Cherry’s comments were condemned by both the NHL and Sportsnet, and on Monday the latter decided to let the 85-year-old go.

In the remarks that led to his firing, Cherry criticized immigrants who don’t purchase and wear poppies in support of veterans in advance of Canada’s national day of remembrance (which is today).

“You people love — 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,”  Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Reaction to Cherry’s comments was quick with many calling for his firing on social media and threatening to boycott products advertised on Sportsnet during Hockey Night in Canada.


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When given the opportunity to walk back his remarks by The Toronto Sun, Cherry declined. “I have had my say,” he said prior to being fired.

After Sportsnet announced Cherry’s 38-year run on “Coach’s Corner” was over, Joe Warmington of The Sun reached out to Chery for comment. According to Warmington, Cherry “is quite hurt they would do this on Remembrance Day of all days.”

Despite that, Cherry isn’t changing his tune. “I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers,” Cherry told Warmington. “I speak the truth and I walk the walk,” he said. “I have visited the bases of the troops, been to Afghanistan with our brave soldiers at Christmas, been to cemeteries of our fallen around the world and honored our fallen troops on Coach’s Corner. To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot.”

Cherry has had controversial tirades before against groups like women, progressives and French Canadians, but apparently Sportsnet decided the juice is no longer worth the squeeze.

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