It’s November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada. On this day millions of Canadians show their support for fallen soldiers and veterans of the Canadian Military. We take a moment of silence to appreciate what they sacrificed for our freedom. Don Cherry is arguably the most recognizable public figure in Canada, with his lavish suits and unfiltered comments. Millions of Canadians tune in on a weekly basis to here him rant for 10 minutes in between the 1st and 2nd periods of the showcased game on Rogers Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry is the biggest supporter of our fallen soldiers. He wears his poppy with pride and has contributed and raised millions of dollars for veterans and their families. On this day, he was fired. Don Cherry was fired for singling out people that didn’t wear the poppy. Just like you, I didn’t think it was a huge deal, until I watched the video.
Ron Maclean and Don Cherry have been working together for for over 30 years. There is no love lost between the two. They have both been very vocal about their dislike for one another but remained professional. Cherry using the words “you people” is what got him fired. I worked for Rogers and I know that their image is more important than loyalty. In no way do I think Cherry should be an analyst on TV. The sport has outgrown him completely, we tolerated his borderline racist comments about French Canadians and European players for years. Cherry finally hit the wrong button, and Maclean is to blame as well.
Ron Maclean sat there and nodded his head in agreement and allowed Cherry to say them. Let me be clear when I say that Maclean is there to “control” Cherry. He failed at his job, and that’s why he came out with an apology on behalf of both of them the night after. Rogers never wanted Cherry when they purchased the rights to Hockey Night in Canada. They wanted to cut ties with him, but they were stuck because Hockey Night in Canada does not function without Cherry. Rogers was waiting for a reason to get rid of Cherry.
“There hasn’t been a more legendary person in hockey than Don Cherry”
– Bob Mckenzie
Cherry should not be on TV. Today’s political and cultural climate does not allow for bigotry or under toned racist comments and that’s what Don Cherry represented. The countless comments about black players, ripping french Canadians and calling European players names wasn’t enough to get rid of him. The conspiracy theorist in me says that Maclean was told to let Cherry say whatever he wants, and as soon there’s the smallest slip up, they would get rid of him. Normally Maclean would cut Cherry off and correct him or challenge some of his disparaging comments.
There isn’t a network that would hire someone of Don Cherry’s age. This reminds me of the Bill Burr skit about former Clippers owner Don Sterling. These old guys don’t have a progressive way of thinking, they’re stuck in their ways and just go back to what they were told for years. Cherry has been making these types of comments for years. Finally Rogers had a reason to let him go.
I’ll end by saying that although he has said some sketchy shit in his day, we need to remember what he’s done for our national sport and what he’s done for youth hockey along with the veterans of Canada and their families. I hope he retires happy and spends his millions. I hope all the good work he’s done doesn’t go unnoticed.
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