Sportsnet hockey analyst Don Cherry to step down after racist remarks

Don Cherry, the long-time Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster, has been dismissed from Sportsnet due to his xenophobic comments made over the weekend.

Canadian hockey mainstay Don Cherry has been let go by Sportsnet for his comments about immigrants on Hockey Night in Canada that aired over the weekend. Cherry was dismissed from Sportsnet on Monday after accusing immigrants of being disrespectful to Canada’s tradition of wearing poppies to honor military veterans on Remembrance Day.

Cherry’s comments went viral on social media on Saturday night after his segment, Coach’s Corner, aired in Canada. Cherry hosted the segment with broadcaster Ron MacLean, a staple that had been on the air since 1986.

In the segment, Cherry called immigrants “you people” and berated them for seemingly neglecting the holiday.

“Nobody wears — very few people — wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Downtown Toronto nobody wears a poppy,” Cherry said. “Now you go to the small cities and you know, the rows on rows. You people love — you, that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.”

Sportsnet issued an original statement to Cherry’s comments on Sunday, calling the comments “offensive” but did not mention an apology from Cherry himself. MacLean, who cohosted the segment with Cherry, apologized on his own the next day after the comments were made for standing silent during the rant.

The NHL issued their own statement about Cherry’s comments as well, stating that “hockey is at its best when it brings people together.”

These comments were not the first made by Cherry that landed the broadcaster in hot water. Previously, Cherry spoke out against women reporters in locker rooms and has called NHL concussion spotters “dumb dumbs” over the years, among other controversial statements.

Sportsnet has yet to announce who will take Cherry’s place on Coach’s Corner, or if the segment will be scrapped entirely in the wake of his departure.

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