Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Don Cherry's comments on Saturday about poppies and how “you people”, aka immigrants, are to blame for the lack of popularity was the final straw for Sportsnet, as they let the long-time tv personality go this afternoon. It's not surprising given that Cherry has said some outlandish and offensive things in the past.
One of the instances I do remember was the whole visor rant he said back in 2004. Cherry explained that most French guys and Europeans wear visors and that they are less courageous hiding behind it, even though Canadian players also wore visors in the NHL. Making a claim that just because you wear a visor you’re "soft". He's always liked to take digs at non-Canadian. Always making European players less appealing than Canadian counterparts.
Cherry has also taken shots at current players, Alexander Ovechkin comes to mind. Cherry has been vocal about Ovie and his style on the ice.
Cherry never has seemed to get out of the old every Canadian is a good kid saying. It's bad for tv and it gives the arrogance that "Canadians" have no flaws. Being patriotic is a great thing but taking shots at non-Canadians gives Cherry this bully persona.
Cherry's comments about the poppy rant is one thing, if he wanted to call out people, in general, that's fine, but to change the narrative and blaming it on new Canadians is highly ignorant.
Really though, did Don Cherry really need to have a platform for this long? Cherry has said many things that have been derogatory in the past. I'm glad Rogers has realized enough is enough, but what took so long? I mean if it was anybody else they would have been fired and let go a long time ago, though Cherry somehow got a pass every time.
We didn't need a press release from Sportsnet or the NHL about Cherry and his comments, we needed a course of action, and we got it. Plus, it's bad enough that your co-host Ron MacLean had to try and limit the damage caused by Cherry. If Don doesn’t want to apologize that's fine, but he shouldn't be viewed as this "get Canadian icon".
Cherry isn't needed anymore and we are better off not having to hear his voice on Saturday nights. As the great Muhammad Ali once said: "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." That is Don Cherry. A man that will never change and will never adjust to the times.