Don Cherry poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, March 10, 2014 . Don Cherry says he isn’t moving on from “Coach’s Corner” just yet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Sportsnet apologizes for Don Cherry’s anti-immigrant comments

Outrage was building online on Sunday with many on Twitter calling for Cherry to be fired

Sportsnet has apologized for hockey commentator Don Cherry’s remarks about what he believes are new immigrants not wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.

“Don’s discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network,” Sportsnet President Bart Yabsley said in a statement Sunday.

“We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks.”

Cherry seemingly singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., where he lives, for not honouring Canada’s veterans and dead soldiers.

“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.

“These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Cherry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mississauga, Ont., Mayor Bonnie Crombie was quick to respond and called his comments “despicable.”

“We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we’ll always stand up for it,” she said on Twitter. ”New immigrants enrich our country for the better. We’re all Canadians and wear our poppies proudly.”

Former Liberal MP and previous Ontario Premier Bob Rae also weighed in.

“Cherry’s remarks were ignorant and prejudiced, and at this point in our history can’t go without comment.”

Outrage was building online on Sunday with many on Twitter calling for Cherry to be fired.

Rumours circulated about the possibility of Cherry being cut from Coach’s Corner earlier this year after a Toronto Sun columnist wrote that his return to the show had not been confirmed by the summer.

Cherry said at the time that he was not retiring from the decades-old show yet.

Hockey Night in Canada used to be a long-time CBC Saturday night staple. The show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a 12-year, $5.2 billion national broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014.

The show is still broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet. But the show is run by Sportsnet and filmed in its studio in the CBC building in Toronto.

“As Rogers Media is the national rights holder for NHL Hockey in Canada, CBC has no purview over any editorial (choice of commentators or what they say) with respect to Hockey Night in Canada,” CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said in an email.

READ MORE: Online backlash against Don Cherry for comments on immigrants and Remembrance Day

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Improved health and social services needed

It’s imperative that the root systemic causes of homelessness are addressed, say letter writers

Province providing financing to help get apartments built in Nanaimo’s Wellington area

120 apartments on Ledgerwood Road intended to be affordable for ‘middle-income’ households

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Regional District of Nanaimo to start delivering new garbage carts

Updated automated curbside collection service set to get underway Oct. 1

Nanaimo RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Departure Bay ferry capacity increases to 70%, says B.C. Ferries

Fifty-per-cent limit being phased out, B.C. Ferries has no current plans to provide masks

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Outreach team making connections with young people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre youth advisory council initiative offers ‘no-barrier’ help downtown

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read