Sports: Cherry Bomb: Sportsnet cuts ties with Cherry in aftermath of poppy controversy - - PressFrom - Canada
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Sports Cherry Bomb: Sportsnet cuts ties with Cherry in aftermath of poppy controversy

23:15  11 november  2019
23:15  11 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Sportsnet apologizes for Don Cherry's anti-immigrant comments

  Sportsnet apologizes for Don Cherry's anti-immigrant comments Sportsnet apologizes for Don Cherry's anti-immigrant commentsSportsnet president Bart Yabsley says Cherry's comments are offensive and discriminatory.

The Canadian hockey pundit has been fired by Sportsnet for remarks about what he believes are new immigrants not honoring the country’s fallen soldiers.

Don Cherry serves as the spokesman for undercurrent of hate, racism and xenophobia in Canadian society. Instead of using his platform to foster peace and understanding by bringing awareness to issues in a positive manner, this Canadian “Icon“ chooses to breed intolerance.

Don Cherry wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc

TORONTO — Brash, outspoken, opinionated — longtime hockey broadcaster Don Cherry was never afraid to ruffle feathers during his "Coach's Corner" segment on "Hockey Night in Canada."

His latest outburst cost him his job.

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

"Sports brings people together — it unites us, not divides us. Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night's broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down," said Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley. "During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.

Don Cherry rant 'way off base' but firing unfortunate, say some at Toronto rink

  Don Cherry rant 'way off base' but firing unfortunate, say some at Toronto rink A handful of people at a downtown rink say it's unfortunate that Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry has been fired, but all agree his "You people" comments about new immigrants should not have been said. Billy Scott, a hockey dad, right, says: 'It's Don Cherry, you gotta love him. He is hockey.' A handful of people at a downtown rink say it's unfortunate Don Cherry has been fired, but all agree he shouldn't have made the "You people" comments about immigrants.

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"Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada."

Cherry's ouster came after a segment that sparked a swift backlash from inside and outside the hockey world. The network apologized Sunday for Cherry's comments about his belief that new immigrants don't wear poppies, and in turn, don't support veterans.

On Monday — Remembrance Day — the network took it one step further.

Cherry, 85, had singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., where he lives, for not honouring Canada's veterans and dead soldiers.

"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," Cherry said Saturday night. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."

Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion defends Don Cherry, says ‘he’s not a racist’

  Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion defends Don Cherry, says ‘he’s not a racist’ Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion is defending Don Cherry, saying the hockey commentator "could have used some better words” after he made controversial on-air remarks.“He should have said all Canadians are not paying attention to Armistice Day or wearing the poppy. That's what he should have said,” McCallion told Global News Radio AM640.

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"Coach's Corner" and HNIC are broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.

Cherry did not respond to multiple phone calls seeking comment. He has yet to publicly apologize.

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it was so overloaded with complaints about the segment that it exceeded the organization's technical processing capacity. The CBSC said it was dealing with the broadcast under its normal process, but was not able to accept any further complaints.

Segment co-host Ron MacLean apologized Sunday evening.

"Don Cherry made remarks which were hurtful, discriminatory, which were flat out wrong ... I owe you an apology, too. I sat there, did not catch it, did not respond," MacLean said. "Last night was a really great lesson to Don and me. We were wrong, and I sincerely apologize. I wanted to thank you for calling me and Don on that last night."

Kingston mural of Don Cherry vandalized while others still support him

  Kingston mural of Don Cherry vandalized while others still support him In Don Cherry's hometown, some have resorted to vandalism to show their disapproval while others are speaking up for the Kingston, Ont. native. "It was just written across, where 'Support our Troop's', onto Doug's number 13 there,” says Brian Devoe, describing graffiti spray painted on a mural featuring Don Cherry.“It just said the word 'disgrace'."Devoe, owner of Svensden's Automotive in Kingston's west end, found the graffiti on Wednesday morning. Someone had spray-painted the word ‘disgrace’ on Don Cherry's image in a mural painted on the side of his business.

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Criticism of Cherry's comments poured in quickly as video clips of the segment circulated online. A consistently polarizing figure throughout his long broadcasting career, Cherry also had his share of supporters weigh in on social media over the last couple days.

A hard-nosed career minor-leaguer who won coach of the year honours with the NHL's Boston Bruins in 1976, Cherry moved in front of the camera in 1980.

Known for his outlandish suits and thumbs-up gesture, Cherry was liable to say anything during the popular first-intermission segment on Saturday nights. Over the years, he occasionally weighed in with thoughts on European players, francophones, and politics — to name only a few subjects — which often landed him in hot water.

"Hockey Night in Canada" was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a $5.2-billion, 12-year national broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014.

There was no immediate word on who might replace Cherry on "Coach's Corner" or if the segment would continue in its current form.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Ron MacLean says he doesn't believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist .
EDMONTON — Days after addressing Don Cherry's dismissal during a "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast, sports broadcaster Ron MacLean says he doesn't believe his former co-host is a racist. MacLean, the long-time co-host of "Coach's Corner" with Cherry, is in Edmonton to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Alberta. Before receiving the degree, MacLean told reporters it's been a difficult time. Sportsnet fired Cherry onMacLean, the long-time co-host of "Coach's Corner" with Cherry, is in Edmonton to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Alberta.

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