Famed Hockey Analyst Don Cherry: “I know what I said and I meant it."


Tony Katz

Blog > Tony Katz > Famed Hockey Analyst Don Cherry: “I know what I said and I meant it."

Famed Hockey Analyst Don Cherry: “I know what I said and I meant it."

Cherry hosted the “Coach’s Corner” segment on Sportsnet’s “Hockey Night in America.”


(Jim McIsaac / Staff/Getty Images)

Canada’s Sportsnet fired legendary hockey analyst Don Cherry on Monday, following comments made during a live segment in which the 85-year-old known for flamboyant suits expressed rage at immigrants who failed to wear poppy seeds to honor fallen veterans as part of the country’s Remembrance Day.

"You people love — they come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey," Cherry said. "The least you could pay is a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys pay the biggest price."

Cherry faced immediate repercussions for the comments and was terminated Monday.

“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,” Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said in a statement. “During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”

Cherry is now speaking out about the controversy, and true to form, he's not backing down.

“I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers," Cherry told the Toronto Sun, adding, “To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot."

“I don’t regret a thing. If you notice, I never said ‘immigrants,’ I never said anything, I said ‘you people’ and they could have been Scottish, they could have been Irish, they could have been anything, but that’s the way the world is today. They listened to those people.”

WIBC host Tony Katz spoke about the controversy during a segment on his morning show.

"Based on the comments I read, I'm not quite sure what it is that he said that was so absolutely awful. The argument that could be made is, 'How could you know whether someone is an immigrant or not?'

That said, there is certainly merit to the idea that people come to a country - the United States for example - and seem to think that there is something owed to them as opposed to being thankful for being here. That's true; that's factual; that is a problem." 

Click below to hear Tony's full commentary.

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