Yup, it looks like the end of the road for the opinionated one. In case you haven’t been on social media for the last few days, I’ll brief you; Don Cherrys’ habit of saying things without any thought or regard of the repercussions has finally plated him a “hot dog” that was just too big for Sportsnet and Rogers Media to swallow.
Before getting into the comments made by the Sour one, if you are a Soo Greyhound fan you may remember that he labeled a few kids a couple years ago as “hot dogs” because they scored fancy goals in a lopsided win against an opponent. That story garnered much interest in the Soo but it really was nothing more than an angry opinionated man saying what he felt and agree or disagree; you can’t censor that sort of thing as it wasn’t inflammatory or racist.
Now moving forward, this Saturday night Don went overboard as he has done for many years, labelling hockey players for the most part by countries they were born in, either by referring to Russians in derogatory terms or Swedes, Finns etc as being soft. Most of the comments were just angry ramblings by a know it all, but at times he has found himself in hot water only for the company he worked for to ice it over and issue an apology. They probably thought about canning him on more than one occasion, but hey let’s be realistic ; Don Cherry and his controversial statements bring in Big Big $$$$$ through ratings and advertising spots.
Now, in case you haven’t seen the clip, his exact comments were as follows; ” you people that love…you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy” etc He included “these guys paid for YOUR way of life” etc.
Now on the surface, it doesn’t look too bad, but if you watch the clip he is pointing fingers repeatedly at the camera in a very aggressive way and the inference was 100 % about immigrants to the country, not ALL Canadians as some people will try to sell you.
Should he have been fired over this ? I would say no… if it was the first time Archie Bunker has made racist style comments, but he has been known for making controversial comments about Russians, Swedes, Finnish people, people from Quebec, women, ex hockey players with drug and alcohol abuse problems, and even for mocking homosexuals. It’s like any other type of employment; you are given a few warnings and then you are fired. Grapes in the opinion of most people was justly let go as his comments were not what Canadians are about.
I will defend my opinion this way and state the following reasons. If he would have just said, people that live in this country and didn’t buy a poppy should be ashamed of themselves, then I could let it slide. Don however singled out people that have immigrated here. First of all, there are a lot of immigrants in this country that are here and are doctors, lawyers, scientists…..whatever. They chose to come here for many reasons. We have people in this country from Australia, the United States, Great Britains etc ; not every immigrant that is here is from Eritrea or Iraq and fleeing a civil war or persecution. People from other countries bring us diversity and culture and if it wasn’t for them, we would not be a great nation.
Another reason his firing is just is because, in my opinion his rants and racists comments are viewed by many young kids that watch Coaches Corner because they love hockey. They do not need to be influenced by a old man and his angry egotistical racial comments. Sportsnet is not CNN, Fox News or MSNBC ; We do not need this nonsense because it gets a reaction. Freedom of speech is one thing, but targeting people that come to our country and are trying to adjust and deal with the racism on the streets that already exist, do not need some washed up hockey coach telling them that if they don’t buy a friggen poppy, they are somehow disrespecting Canada.
In case some people forget; this is also the same guy that glorifies fighting and makes money off of guys beating each other up with his Rockem Sockem hockey videos.
I am on side with freedom of speech, but when you have a platform that allows you to speak to millions of adults and children, you and your employer have a right to be respectful to other cultures and not inflame culture, politics, and racism.
A lot of the immigrants in this country may not even understand what Rememberance Day is ; maybe they don’t speak the language, maybe they don’t have a dollar to spare, maybe they bought one and it fell off. It all doesn’t matter and Don Cherry is no Big Brother with the wave of his hand to scold people for not wearing a poppy.
There is also the fact that his inflammatory remarks could on a very true scale initiate violence. I am not saying it will; I am just saying, it would not be something surprising to wake up and read in the Toronto Sun that a group of idiot drunk teenagers beat up an immigrant kid on the subway and were overheard saying, “if you want to live here, you should respect our culture” This is not far fetched. Things like this happen because people are so easily influenced and if copycats can happen with killers, it can happen on a minor scale like this. We see violence directed at everybody including minorities everday and the last thing we need is a guy in an ugly suit and starched up collar increasing the tension.
As I said earlier; if this was a one time deal with Cherry, then I could overlook it, but the fact is this is not his first rodeo of sorts.
I can’t understand why Coaches Corner didn’t or doesn’t have a delay mechanism so his garbage could have been edited out. This is not the first time his employers have had to issue apologize on his behalf. It has happened dozens of times before.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think Don really is going to give s**t about this chapter in his book. He is well off financially, and the rest of his contract will paid out in a lump sum. It’s time to get the clubs out Don, enjoy your golfing.
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. After attending Humber College, Ernest worked in industry, management and front line customer service before realizing that writing was his real passion. Rock Talk has been a staple of Mr. Skinner's abilities and since its inception he has interviewed members of Judas Priest, Kingdom Come, The Guess Who, Loverboy, Helix, etc. Adrian Vandenberg, Carlos Cavazo, John Corabi, Rudy Sarzo, Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, Darby Mills, Bill Hudson II. Currently, Ernest is a freelance writer who submits to various establishments. Ernest has had his work published in MUEN Magazine, and many other news sites. Please welcome him and share his pieces.