Sportsnet has fired Don Cherry from Hockey Night in Canada for comments Cherry made during a Remembrance Day Coach’s Corner.
In a two-paragraph statement Monday afternoon, Sportsnet confirmed that it was cutting ties with Cherry.
“Sports brings people together — it unites us, not divides us. Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down,” said Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley. “During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”
“Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.”
“Coach’s Corner” and HNIC are broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.
Statement from Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/ah3twdx9po
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 11, 2019
Cherry derided immigrants on Saturday night by saying, “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,” Cherry said Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Social media was outraged by the comments made by the 85-year-old broadcasted live on national television.
Don Cherry reacted in a written statement to the Toronto Sun.
“I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov 9th no problem,” Cherry said. “I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers. I speak the truth and I walk the walk, I have visited the bases of the troops, been to Afghanistan with our brave soldiers at Christmas, been to the cemeteries of our fallen around the world and honoured our fallen troops on Coach’s Corner.”
“To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot, I would have liked to continue doing Coach’s Corner. The problem is if I have to watch everything I say, it isn’t Coach’s Corner,” Cherry said in the statement. “I want to thank everyone who has watched Coach’s Corner over the last 35 years. Remember to wear your poppy to honour our fallen soldiers…Thumbs up.”
Cherry was scheduled to attend Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada which is being held in Yellowknife this year. The City of Yellowknife is pleased to advise residents that volunteer registration for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is now open and will continue as planned despite Cherry’s demise.