Don Cherry has long been recognized as a figurehead of Canadian hockey. His straightforward and often brash comments contribute to good television ratings and Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada has seen monumental successes. Cherry, 85, was fired following comments he made on “Coach’s Corner” on November 9th, just prior to Remembrance Day. Cherry stated, “You people…, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can buy a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that”.
Don Cherry’s divisive remarks about Canadian immigrants were negative, and false. New Canadian immigrants cultivate and enhance the character of Canada as a whole. Don Cherry frustrates many Canadians, as his sense of “nationalistic pride” does is close to concepts that animate the rejection of “outsiders”. As published in a journal article by Tim Elcombe, he argues that “Cherry’s sermonizing to more than an estimated million viewers each week during the hockey season engages Canadians (often accidentally) in significant socio-political discourse often removed from daily conversations”. Yet, Cherry’s take it or leave it, my way or the highway, attitude provides little insight into the deep sociological conversations he often attempts to start with co host, Ron MacLean.
“I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov. 9, no problem.”
In conclusion, Don Cherry is not the only guilty party in this incident. Ron MacLean his co-host, simply sat by and flashed a thumbs up following the controversial statement. MacLean’s inability to stand up to racist remarks made on national television truly reflects the societal norm of bystander apathy. We, as a country, need to do better, and this incident continues to remind us as Canadians that it is our duty to be more than onlooker in cases of racism and bigotry.