UPDATE: The number of signatures on the petition has since shot up to 225,000
A new petition has popped up online demanding that long-time Coach’s Corner host, broadcaster, and Canadian icon Don Cherry return to his position after being fired by Roger’s Sportsnet.
“Don Cherry is a Canadian icon and a symbol of the working class,” reads the fast-growing petition. The petition’s text acknowledges that Cherry doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to brash comments, but that his comments don’t warrant his firing.
“He may be politically incorrect, and may not have been as careful as he should have in his remarks, but his offence does not warrant firing. Sportsnet and CBC should not cave into a mob of liberals and twitter activists, and should immediately restore Cherry to his job,” the petition states.
The petition has reached over 90,000 signatures as of the time of publishing.
The petition was started by the Western Standard on change.org, an Alberta-based conservative commentary magazine and website recently rebooted by former Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt.
During Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada, Don Cherry went on a rant about the poppy. That’s when he stated the following comments:
“I live in Mississauga. Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. … Now you go to the small cities. You people … that come here, whatever it is — 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. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.“
By Sunday morning, outrage was in full swing, with Cherry finally being fired on Remembrance Day. Following his firing, Cherry gave comment clarifying what exactly happened following his comments.
Cherry said “there’s no doubt about it,” that he could have kept his job on Coach’s Corner, had he given a formal apology.
“If I had gone on and said a few things and done a few things, I definitely would have been back,” Cherry told Barb Digiulio of Newstalk 1010 radio in Toronto. “I would have been feeling a lot worse if I had knuckled under and done things that they wanted me to do and not been myself on television.”
“That’s the way I feel and I’m not changing it and I don’t regret a thing.”
When asked to clarify the “you people” comment, Cherry said that he “meant everybody… I did not mean [new Canadians]. I did mean everybody.”
He also said he was disappointed in his co-host Ron MacLean for apologizing on Sunday for Cherry’s comments, saying they were divisive.