Leftists in Canada succeeded in getting Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry fired after he made comments about the lack of poppies worn for Remembrance Day by recent immigrants in Ontario.
The 85-year-old hockey veteran was fired on Remembrance Day by broadcaster Sportsnet after comments made over the weekend.
Cherry, who is well-known as a firebrand with Conservative opinions, made his comments on the Coach’s Corner segment of Hockey Night in Canada over the weekend alongside long-time co-host Ron MacLean during a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Fliers, the National Post reports.
“You people … love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy,” Cherry said and added, “These guys paid for your way of life, the life you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council, the number of complaints about Cherry’s remarks was so high that it ended up “exceeding the CBSC’s technical processing capacities.”
The comments also received an immediate backlash on Canadian social media with leftists calling for Cherry to be fired from his position with broadcaster Sportsnet with hashtags #DonCherryMustGo and #FireDonCherry trending on Twitter.
The former president of Planned Parenthood in Ottawa turned political consultant Lauren Dobson-Hughes slammed the hockey legend saying, “He’s a lifelong, unrepentant, irredeemable racist who’ll never change. We shouldn’t bother trying, he just needs to be thrown in a dumpster.”
Leftist Ishmael N. Daro, who has written for publications such as Buzzfeed, went even further claiming that poppies were racist.
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“This is exactly why I don’t wear a poppy. Even apart from the militarism that is inextricably part of the whole ritual, poppy fanaticism is often just barely disguised white supremacist rhetoric about “real Canadians” vs. ungrateful interlopers,” he said on Twitter.
Broadcaster Sportsnet was quick to apologize for Cherry’s comments, putting out a statement saying, “Don’s discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network.”
“We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks,” they added.
Ron MacLean, himself an icon of hockey and sport across the country, also apologized for Cherry’s remarks saying, “I have worked with Don for 30 years, and we both love hockey. But last night, I know we failed you. I see hockey as part of what unites us. I have the honour of travelling across our country to celebrate Canada’s game, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths.”
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Mr Cherry, meanwhile, has refused to apologize for his statements, with the 85-year-old telling the Toronto Sun newspaper, “I have had my say.”
On Remembrance Day, the hashtag #DonCherryIsRight began to trend in Ontario with several petitions by conservative news outlets in Canada set up to support the hockey icon and garnering thousands of signatures.