This is What Don Cherry Should Have Said

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

You people?

What do you mean, you people?

That’s the issue with the immigrant comments that got longtime hockey commentator Don Cherry fired on Monday. As a general rule, it’s probably a bad idea to use that phrase when doing an off-the-cuff mini rant that takes place on live television.

Maybe he was speaking specifically to immigrants of color, or maybe he wasn’t. There are, of course, people who migrate to Canada who look like Cherry, minus the ‘unique’ fashion sense, so only he really truly knows whether there was a racial component to his pseudo-tirade.

The heart of the message had to do with “Remembrance Day,” which is a non-U.S. holiday celebrated in Canada, Australia, the UK, and a number of other countries that were once part of the British Empire. The poppy symbolizes military lives lost in the line of duty, typically in the form of a pin that is sold by veterans groups. You’ll also see poppy wreaths laid at memorials, not dissimilar to the way U.S. Presidents or other dignitaries attend various services on our Memorial Day, which takes place in May instead of November.

So Cherry was basically complaining that Ontario migrants don’t wear the poppy, which then turned into him saying this:

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

It’s a pro-military and pro-Canada message that was delivered very poorly. As a courtesy, I’ve re-written the rant for Don Cherry, and it goes like this:

Remembrance Day is coming up this Monday, and I’d just like to take a moment to offer my gratitude to all of the military men and women who died serving this country. We enjoy freedoms that other people don’t have, and I think it’s important for all Canadians to remember the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve our way of life.

There. That’s it. A producer could have put that on the teleprompter and he could have read it verbatim.

If he did something like that, instead of singling out Toronto migrants or using the term “you people,” he’d still have a job. I’m actually stunned he lasted as long as he did, since he has a history of saying things that we’d describe as ‘politically incorrect,’ especially in this day and age.

These two passages were written a 1993 edition of Sports Illustrated, if you can believe it:

HE KNOWS THE END WILL COME SOMEDAY. Maybe someday soon. Maybe tonight. He is pushing, pushing, pushing the limits too far, saying too much. One final piece of outrage will bubble from Don Cherry’s high-volume mouth, and that will be that. Ka-boom! He will self-destruct in full public view, the carnage strewn across the living rooms of an entire country, from the Maritimes to British Columbia. Ka-boom!

It is a problem. The best things he says are the worst things he says. The danger is everything. The danger is the attraction for the public. What next? What will he do? He always is one F word, one outrage away from extinction. What will he do? He holds on to the stick of dynamite and watches the wick burn shorter and shorter. This is his 11th season. He cannot let go as the inevitable approaches. Ka-boom!

Turns out the “inevitable” didn’t happen until 26 years later.

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24 Responses

  1. who cares about Canada? Choke on that liberalism they injected into their system. Canadian hockey announcer loses his job, Canadian PM gets reelected bathing in black face

  2. Or how about instead of belittling those who are from a different country we show and explain traditions that are important? I’m sure not everyone who is new to this country understands taking off your hat during the national anthem. You could be an asshole and demean them or teach them what it is to be a part of their new country. For fucks sake empathy shouldn’t be in such short supply.

    1. Well, in this country, it’s not the new people who are the problem. It’s the people that have been here enjoying and living off of the freedoms and privileges that this country provides and then knowingly disrespect our National Anthem, military, and first responders.

      1. Part of the freedom and privilege that comes with living in this country is the freedom to disrespect whatever you damn well please. Makes choosing to stand for the anthem actually mean something. You maga chuds always look at the sideshow and never the big picture. You see 3 people kneeling instead of a stadium full of people standing and saluting. Plenty of countries can fill a stadium with people who cheer for the anthem. Those 3 people kneeling are the difference between the USA and North Korea.

        1. Well, not really true because god forbid anyone disrespects “those 3 people”. Then there will be 3 million rioting and looting in the streets.

          1. Kapernick gets regularly disrespected and shit on by literally the president of the united states not to mention his army of morons and there was zero “rioting and looting in the streets”. Go ahead, give me another Hannity line.

  3. The screeching of “woke” keyboard warriors led to the firing of a Cdn icon.

    The mainstream media may not believe it but these SJWs don’t speak for us. Many Cdns came out in support of Cherry and his call to honour our veterans.

  4. An 85 year old man makes a valid point inelegantly? “Shocking” says everyone who has never interacted with an 85 year old person before.

  5. You are wrong Kevin. The best way to get people to respond is by directly speaking to them, not by hiding that message in a generic one to all. When you speak to the whole group everyone thinks “he’s talking about someone else” and they pay no mind. When you say “you, yes you” then they know who the intended target is and the message is more often received.

  6. I think he made his point well. The alternative you offered is a joke. It says nothing except “I am too afraid to say what I mean.” Cherry was very easy going in his condemning on ungrateful immigrants.

      1. Guy is 85 years old and doesn’t need a job. Obviously just does it because he likes it and has been in that role to dress outrageous and be outrageous. People tune in to see what he’ll say next…like Howard Stern in the early days.

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