Don Cherry has made his living on being outspoken and stirring the pot, but this time the legendary NHL commentator appears to have gone too far. Rogers Sportsnet has fired the former coach from Hockey Night in Canada after his on-air remarks about immigrants on Saturday.
Known for his often outrageous suits and opinions, Cherry had been doing segments during popular hockeycast’s first-period intermission since 1981.
During his Hockey Night appearance over the weekend, Cherry noted how he was not seeing certain people in Canada wearing the customary remembrance poppies on their lapels in the leadup to Armistice Day.
“You people … 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 during his segment Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada; these guys paid the biggest price.”
In a next-day interview with the Toronto Sun, the 85-year-old Cherry refused to amend or walk back his statements, telling the paper, “I have had my say.”
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Sportsnet made the announcement via Twitter today, saying in a statement:
“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 time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.
“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.”
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