Canadian ice hockey commentator Don Cherry is in hot water after making a controversial statement about immigrants on the sports program Hockey Night in Canada.
On Saturday, just a couple days before Remembrance Day, 85 year old Cherry appeared on the show during his regular Coach’s Corner segment and criticized newcomers to Canada who he says don’t wear poppies to honour the country’s veterans.
“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,” he said.
“These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
- Canadians’ interactions with each other significantly reduced: cellphone data study
- COVID-19: Public health declares outbreak at SpinCo Hamilton over
- Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air
Cherry also remarked that he rarely sees people wearing poppies in Mississauga, where he lives, and in downtown Toronto.
His statements quickly caused backlash among the community, causing even Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie to address it on Twitter.
“For [Don Cherry] to say that “you people” do not respect Canada or our veterans is despicable,” Crombie said. “We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we‘ll always stand up for it.”
For @CoachsCornerDC to say that “you people” do not respect or our veterans is despicable. We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we‘ll always stand up for it. New immigrants enrich our country for the better. We’re all Canadians and wear our poppies proudly.
— Bonnie Crombie (@BonnieCrombie) November 10, 2019
Other users also took to Twitter to criticize Cherry’s remarks, with some even calling for Cherry’s dismissal from the show.
Good to have this reminder after Don Cherry’s comments last night. Cherry’s remarks were ignorant and prejudiced, and at this point in our history can’t go without comment. https://t.co/ELRHfFdBsF
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) November 10, 2019
— FlangeFolk2 (@FlangeFolk2) November 10, 2019
At this time, there has been no response from Hockey Night in Canada or Cherry himself in regards to the controversy.
UPDATE: Bart Yabsley, president of Sportsnet, has issued an apology and maintains that Don’s comments do not represent the network’s values.
Statement from Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/QZ76r9Y7sb
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) November 10, 2019