TXHT Opinion: Sportsnet fires Don Cherry from Hockey Night in Canada

On Saturday night while on his usual “Coach’s Corner” on Hockey Night in Canada, commentator Don Cherry made some very displeasing & uncomfortable comments about immigrants in Canada. Cherry used his “Coach’s Corner” segment to publicly criticize immigrants who didn’t wear poppy pins while leading up to Canada’s Remembrance Day. These poppy pins are sold by military veterans groups and are they are worn in honor of those who served in the Canadian military.

Don Cherry used the following language Saturday night during his “Coach’s Corner” segment about immigrants below as well as a video to better hear and see the context of what was said:

“I live in Mississauga [Ontario]. 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,” Cherry said.



His words caused a big uprising around social media with many people calling for Don Cherry to be fired. Coach’s Corner” co-host Ron MacLean noticeably during the segment remained silent to these uncomfortable words and was even seen giving his thumbs up approval of what Cherry was saying. Since then, MacLean has released a statement through Sportnet as well as publicly apologizing live on Sportsnet’s “Hometown Hockey” last night for his behavior during the segment below:


Sportsnet has since released a statement about the firing of Don Cherry also seen below:


My take on the firing/Ron MacLean:

To be 100% honest, Don Cherry should have been fired a long time ago. This is not the first time Cherry has used vulgar, displeasing, and/or uncomfortable words about immigrants and especially European NHL players. Unfortunately, the language which he’s been using for years has been given a blind eye to and it should not be a surprise that it was done on Saturday night. In particular, he has been very well known and critical of NHL players from Russia specifically calling out players such as Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, amongst others as well. His views and mindset on today’s modern NHL are very outdated as well, and it was time for him to move on.

The main point here is that Don Cherry was let go for using inappropriate language about immigrants and he needed to finally be held accountable for his actions. It took too long unfortunately to do so. The language that was used by him was very divisive when it shouldn’t be. Hockey and sports in general are meant to be the best of us all and bring fans of the game and human beings together and not divide us. It’s very sad that he made comments like these and he still has these kinds of viewpoints. He even doubled down on his comments as he briefly spoke to the Toronto Sun by stating “I have had my say”. The simple fact that he didn’t want to look at what he said was inappropriate and take responsibility for his actions shows that it was the correct decision to fire him and finally move on.

As for cohost Ron MacLean, it was very disappointing that he stood there silent while Cherry was making the remarks and even gave his thumbs up. However, I am happy that he came out rather quickly to apologize and seemed very humble and genuine about his apology and about what transpired on Saturday night. Hopefully, he learned from this and he’s never a part of something like this again. Otherwise, like Don Cherry he’ll need to be held accountable too.

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