Don Cherry has been famous for his opinionated views on both the hockey and social world, but has his bold language gone too far this time? On November 10th, Don Cherry spoke out about his views on Canadians (mostly new immigrants) who are not sporting the poppy and, who, in his view, are not giving respect and gratitude for those who fought for our country. The phrase that has caught fire from his offensive stance was by referring to Canadian immigrants as “you people”. Despite the controversy which surrounded Cherry, stood by his comments and refused to apologize for his actions. As a result, Sportsnet has cut ties with Cherry after stating that “it was the right time for him to immediately step down”.
This controversial statement goes beyond sport and competition because it brings in a factor of discrimination towards new immigrants in Canada, a country known for its inclusivity. Canadian immigrants are challenged with creating a sense of citizenship when arriving and feeling as if they have a “moral sense of belonging,” this meaning that they feel as if Canada is truly their home and somewhere they belong. The Canadianness of a person does not depend on their diverse ancestral and geographical origins, but on recognizing the opportunities available to them in Canada. This can be shown by Canadians in many different ways and not just by wearing a poppy as Cherry has implied. Cherry claims his comments weren’t directed towards minorities, however, the consequences of a poor word choice and lack of apologies leaves Cherry unemployed after 40 years of being the face of Sportsnet’s Coach’s Corner segment.