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Cherry co-hosted Coach’s Corner segment for 40 years
Don Cherry has been fired by Sportsnet, ending his 40-year tenure on Hockey Night in Canada.
On Saturday night’s broadcast, Cherry criticized immigrants for not wearing poppies, saying, “You people… 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.”
Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley apologized Sunday on behalf of Cherry.
“Don’s discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network,” Yabsley said. “We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks.”
Statement from Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/QZ76r9Y7sb— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) November 10, 2019
Coach’s Corner co-host Ron MacLean also apologized for his own lack of judgment during the segment for allowing Cherry to make “hurtful and prejudiced” comments.
I want to sincerely apologize to our viewers and Canadians. During last night’s broadcast, Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently. It was a divisive moment and I am truly upset with myself for allowing it. (1/2)— Ron MacLean (@RonMacLeanHTH) November 10, 2019
This is not the first time Cherry’s quotes have landed him in hot water across Canada.
In 2003, Cherry made controversial comments regarding the American invasion of Iraq. He criticized Montreal Canadiens fans for booing the American national anthem and condemned the Canadian government for a lack of support during the war.
In 2010, Cherry placed the chain of office around the neck of the late Rob Ford. When asked to say a few words, he opened with “I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything, I thought I’d get it in.”
Cherry spoke with Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington Monday. He said his words were “not racial or bigoted but patriotic and respectful.”
“I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov. 9. No problem,” Cherry said. “I know what I said and I meant it.”