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

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

$25 million Fraser Valley highway project 18 months behind schedule

Ministry says information security protocols have ‘evolved’ since construction on project wrapped up

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read