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DON CHERRY: Accused of racism on Coach’s Corner for saying not enough immigrants wearing poppies

Don Cherry accused of racism for saying immigrants in Toronto don’t wear poppies and pay respects to veterans enough.
David Brook Montreal, QC

It’s Hockey Night in Canada again and you know what that means: People on Twitter are getting triggered by Don Cherry again.

The Twitter mob was losing their minds Saturday night because Grapes, 85, called out newcomers for not paying their respects to Canada’s soldiers during the leadup to Remembrance Day by wearing poppies.

Donning a double-chested solemn black suit with a commemorative patch to honour Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers, Cherry pointed out how he doesn’t see too many native-born and newcomer Canadians properly paying their respects to veterans, fallen soldiers and active service members. Cherry said he hesitated to play his historic commemorative video on air tonight, as no one wears them in Mississauga, where he lives, and “forget downtown Toronto, no one wears the poppy” but spoke to a veteran, who convinced him otherwise, and told him to run it for those who do don them.

Cherry triggered a lot of anger on Twitter when he said immigrants should honour those who fought for our freedom and way of life they came here to enjoy: “You people love–they come here whatever it is–you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”

By Sunday, the furor over his comments was so large online, with many calling for him to be fired, that Sportsnet put out a press release.

“DON’S DISCRIMINATORY COMMENTS ARE OFFENSIVE AND THEY DO NOT REPRESENT OUR VALUES AND WHAT WE STAND FOR AS A NETWORK. WE HAVE SPOKEN TO DON ABOUT THE SEVERITY OF THIS ISSUE AND WE SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR THESE DIVISIVE REMARKS,” read the press release in all caps and signed by Sportsnet President Bart Yabsley.

He also addressed the controversy surrounding his lack of sympathy for the Sabourin injury, stating he knew that Sabourin was not hurt when he put his thumbs up as he was being carted off the ice. “I have been in the game a long time” and “putting up thumbs mean extremities, c’mon!”

Ron defended his co-hosts comments, stating that the Cherry’s giggles were to mock him, not Sabourin.

Last week’s Coach’s Corner Cherry upset the Twittersphere after laughing at Ron Maclean’s concern over Ottawa Senator Scott Sabourin being seriously injured from a major hit that knocked him out.

This week, Cherry also lauded Robby Fabbri’s fresh start with the Red Wings, Adam Lowry’s tough and veteran role with the Jets, and Max Domi’s incredible story with diabetes and his relationship with his dog, among other hockey stories. Cherry and MacLean’s show took a sad turn when they acknowledged and mourned the loss of two young hockey players in the community.

Earlier this week in an interview with Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun, Cherry said, “They couldn’t care less… they enjoy the freedoms the soldiers, sailors and airmen died for but that’s it.”

In defence of Cherry, photographer Veronica Henri noted that her research into how many in the Toronto community were wearing the commemorative poppy were sad, as only about 10 percent of individuals in the downtown Toronto area were seen wearing it.

Here are some examples of people who got upset on their Saturday evening over Grapes’ views:

https://twitter.com/binnsy1138/status/1193335865810046976

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David Brook
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