By Jackie Kucey
All that we knew about boycotting has morphed into what is now known as “cancel culture”. Everyday, there is a new big name that the world is “canceling”. However, the latest cancelled “celebrity” is none other than the grumpy old guy we all know and semi-love, Don Cherry. A former NHL player, coach, sports writer, and now, former Hockey Night in Canada host.
We all know that it’s been a long time coming for old Donny Boy. There have been many instances of Don going on racist, sexist, mysogynistic and even ageist rants on live television right next to his co-host Ron Maclean. Ironically, the week before Cherry was fired from Coaches Corner, he came under fire for his comments after reviewing Scott Sabourin’s injury after a hit during a game. “He just got knocked out, that’s all.” says Cherry. This was pretty insensitive considering that Sabourin was taken off the ice on a stretcher…. ok Don.
The demise of Don Cherry started out long ago with his rants but it all ended on November 10th when he decided to rant about how people have become disrespectful by not wearing poppies to commemorate the fallen.
“I live in Mississauga, nobody … very few people … wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it, nobody wears a poppy … Now you go to the small cities … And the rows on rows … you people who come here, 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. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price … Anyhow, I’m going to run [a video segment about veterans] for you people and good Canadians that bought a poppy.” – Don Cherry
Now after reading the full quote, it really makes sense why it was such a big deal. First of all, he refers to “you people” twice and it insinuates that he is talking about immigrants or refugees (albeit minorities) who live in Canada.
“The speech clearly contrasts “new” Canadians with “good” Canadians, and is for that reason rightly being denounced as racist.”
– Mike (did not provide last name)https://torontosportsmedia.com/2019/11/10/sportsnets-don-cherry-attacks-immigrants-on-cbc/
Unfortunately, Don Cherry has a pretty big ego and he refused to apologize. He did say in many interviews that if he could change anything that he said, he would replace “you people” with “everyone”. This tells me that if Don had the chance to hide his racism he would, just to avoid the scrutiny.
Honestly, I’m happy that Don Cherry is gone. I am a huge Oilers fan and I watch every game and the post game interviews and round table discussions. Hockey Night in Canada was a huge thing for my family and for years we discussed his wild suits and gawked at how big his collar progressively grew. (I guess the collars and suits were just a distraction as to whatever he was saying)
Don Cherry had to go. I know, it’s the end of an era, but please, for the love of god let’s let bygones be bygones and say a big R.I.P. to coaches corner hosted by Don Cherry.
P.S. Here’s a hilarious and completely accurate video of P.K. Subban impersonating Don Cherry