The Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington is reporting that Sportsnet has dismissed Don Cherry, a Canadian icon and longtime host of Coach’s Corner, following his comments regarding immigrants on Saturday night’s HNIC broadcast.
— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) November 11, 2019
Warmington also reported this morning that Cherry had no intention of apologizing for his remarks, despite official apologies being issued by Sportsnet and Cherry’s co-host, Ron MacLean.
Multiple outlets have reported that the number of complaints the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council received regarding Cherry’s comments was so large that it exceeded the CBSC’s technical processing capabilities.
In a statement posted online, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) wrote that they received “a large number of very similar complaints,” which exceeded “the CBSC’s technical processing capacities.” https://t.co/34YzSFwBmh
— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) November 11, 2019
Cherry has landed himself in hot water before for comments that have ranged from questioning whether women should be allowed in locker rooms, to saying that most hockey players who wear visors are “Europeans and French guys”, but his most recent remarks appear to have been the last straw. There had been speculation regarding Cherry’s future at Sportsnet since to company became Canada’s exclusive rightsholder for the NHL for the 2013-14 season, with the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons even mistakenly reporting he would not be returning for the 2019-20 season earlier this summer.
“You people that 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,” Cherry said on Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Don Cherry stirs controversy with rant on immigrants not wearing poppies. “You people love… that come here.. you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy…” #HNIC pic.twitter.com/r3WQ0ZalaJ
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) November 10, 2019
The issue has quickly becoming a rallying point for figures’ in the more right-leaning corners of Canadian Media. A petition crafted by The Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant entitled “Support Don Cherry” has already amassed nearly 10,000 signatures.
The decision has drawn both praise and criticism from fans, with some deriding the decision as an example of “cancel culture” and political correctness run amok, while others have said it is simply an example of Canada’s largest sports media company holding their employee accountable for racially insensitive remarks.