Don Cherry fired for comments about immigrants and poppies
Veteran sportscaster and retired NHL coach Don Cherry has been fired as the longtime face of Hockey Night in Canada after making controversial remarks about immigrants and poppies (or an alleged lack thereof).
Sportsnet confirmed the news on Twitter Monday afternoon, writing that Cherry had officially been fired from the Rogers-owned broadcast network.
Statement from Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/LRKrww0AQ1— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) November 11, 2019
Cherry, 85, sparked a momentous wave of backlash on Saturday evening during his weekly Coach's Corner segment with comments that have been panned widely in the days since as disgusting, abhorrent, xenophobic, racist and downright un-Canadian.
Don Cherry's latest rant against immigrants is tough to watch and Canadians are calling for him to be fired 📹 CBC pic.twitter.com/6JnEFvJXES— Freshdaily (@freshdaily) November 10, 2019
"You people that come here, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that," said Cherry during Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
"These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada."
Canadians want Don Cherry fired for his rant about immigrants and poppies https://t.co/NuCDBzLCDY #Canada #DonCherry #HNIC pic.twitter.com/lSKTnxwkT7— Freshdaily (@freshdaily) November 11, 2019
Sportsnet, the NHL and Coach's Corner co-host Ron MacLean apologized for the "offensive" and "discriminatory" comments on Cherry's behalf as Twitter exploded with criticism and hurt.
Ron MacLean just apologized for Don Cherry's divisive remarks on #HNIC #DonCherry #RonMaclean pic.twitter.com/WjBeZ04t4b— blogTO (@blogTO) November 11, 2019
Cherry himself, however, told the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington on Sunday that he had no plans of apologizing.
I suppose it's a moot point now. After more than 30 years of hosting what's been called "the most watched five minutes on Canadian TV," Cherry is out — and it's about time, say many hockey fans.
The most surprising part of Don cherry being fired is that it didn't happen earlier. #ByeFelicia #CanadaRemembers— Kyle (@ShatSlanger) November 11, 2019
"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," Sportsnet said in a statement around 3:10 p.m. on Remembrance Day.
"During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for," wrote the network.
"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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