Hockey commentator Don Cherry fired for rant over immigrants

Controversial hockey commentator Don Cherry fired in wake of xenophobic rant

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry for anti-immigrant Coach's Corner rant

During his "Coach's Corner" segment, Cherry claimed that immigrants do not wear poppies or support veterans.

"Now you go to the small cities and you know, the rows on rows, you people love - that come here, whatever it is - 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".

"What made this guy so popular is that he was who he was on camera", says David Shoalts, a retired Globe and Mail sports writer and author of "Hockey Fight in Canada: The Big Media Faceoff over the NHL".

But Cherry says he sees nothing wrong with his original comments.

"When anybody starts any kind of admonishment or whatever with, 'You people, ' you know that it's not going to a place that is good at all", McKenzie said.

"He wasn't someone who adopted a persona on the air as opposed to what he was off the air, which a lot of people do". "I said 'everybody.' And I said 'you people, '" he told The Canadian Press. "I won't back down one bit". We were wrong and I sincerely apologize.

"I am very happy with the departure of Don Cherry", Legault told reporters as he arrived for question period at the legislature. "Last night was a really great lesson to Don and me".

Cherry's comments came just days before Canada's recognition of Remembrance Day. "They wanted me to go beyond that and I said no, I wouldn't do it".

"If he says that he's Canadian well, obviously the landscape in Canada has changed in his lifetime, and the Canada that is now is diverse and is multi-ethnic", one woman said.

And many of us, myself included, would occasionally call Cherry for comment on this story or that. "They didn't want to do it that way". He welcomed the decision to fire Cherry, but wondered why it took so long.

In a two-paragraph statement Monday afternoon, Sportsnet confirmed that it was cutting ties with Cherry.

"While we recognize Don Cherry's four decades of service broadcasting National Hockey League games, today's decision was a justifiable response to his comments on Saturday night", the National Hockey League said. His Coach's Corner co-host Ron MacLean also issued an apology. At the end of the live segment, MacLean gave a thumbs-up to the camera in response to Cherry's comments.

Even though he "buried me", Grapes did accept MacLean's visit and a case of beer meant as a peace offering. I see hockey as part of what unites us.

"It did hurt me", admitted Cherry.

Cherry adds that he doesn't have any immediate plans and jokes that he's figuring out what he's going to do with all his jackets.

Bruce Cassidy was an unabashed Bruins fan growing up, so it's no surprise that he was a fan of the "Lunch Pail AC" crew in the 1970's coached by Don Cherry when he was a young hockey fan growing up in Ontario.

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