Don Cherry has been a hockey institution in Canada for years, but on Monday, he was fired by Sportsnet after making comments in support of Canada’s armed forces that some deemed anti-immigrant.
Cherry, tough, is unapologetic for the comments.
Cherry made his comments on the “Coach’s Corner” segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Sunday during a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Fliers. The 85-year-old former player framed his comments against the country’s upcoming Remembrance Day celebration, which occurred the following Monday.
Remembrance Day is, of course, a day when Canadians (and the U.K.) buy poppy lapel pins to support their military veterans, a day similar to the U.S.A.’s Veterans Day.
But some thought Cherry turned Remembrance Day into an attack on immigrants.
“You people that come here, whatever it is, you 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, adding, “These guys paid for your way of life, the life you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”
Don Cherry’s rant on immigrants:
“You people… love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”
Ron MacLean nodded and gave a thumbs up. pic.twitter.com/OXnIwV1n9T
— Rosa Hwang (@journorosa) November 10, 2019
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation later claimed that it was flooded with complaints from viewers and immigration activists who claimed that Cherry’s comments were “racist” and “anti-immigrant.”
The long-time commentator was quickly fired for his comments, and fired on Remembrance Day, at that.
But now he is standing by his comments despite being fired.
“I know what I said, and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers,” Cherry told the Toronto Sun, adding, “To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot.
“I don’t regret a thing,” Cherry continued. “If you notice, I never said ‘immigrants,’ I never said anything, I said, ‘you people’ and they could have been Scottish, they could have been Irish, they could have been anything, but that’s the way the world is today. They listened to those people.”
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