NHL Commentator Fired Over Anti-Immigrant Remarks

During Saturday night’s broadcast of “Hockey Night in Canada,” host Don Cherry did his Coach’s Corner segment and went on a racist rant toward immigrants living in Canada.

A longtime hockey commentator was fired after making “divisive” remarks toward immigrants in Canada. 

During Saturday night’s broadcast of “Hockey Night in Canada,” host Don Cherry did his Coach’s Corner segment and went on a rant toward immigrants in Canada. 

"You people ... love our way of life, love our milk and honey," Cherry said during the segment. "At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life [so] that you enjoy in Canada.”

His comments were referencing Remembrance Day and immigrants not wearing the traditional poppies in honor of Canadian military members. 

The 85-year-old analyst has been a Canadian icon—being the Coach’s Corner announcer for 35 years, and coach of the Boston Bruins in the 1970s. SportsNet released a statement on Monday saying that Cherry stepped down. 

Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean also reacted on Twitter, saying he wished he had handled himself differently. 

Talking to the Toronto Sun, Cherry said he stands by his comments. 

“I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers,” said Cherry. 

Cherry, known for his outrageous suits and hot takes, has gotten into hot water in the past. He was a champion of allowing fighting in hockey at a time when the science behind concussions was becoming more prevalent. He also made derogatory comments toward European-born hockey players, and believed women reporters shouldn’t be in male locker rooms. 

The NHL also commented on Cherry’s remarks, saying they were “offensive and contrary to the values we believe in.”

Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh hit back at Cherry in a Facebook post about his great-grandfather, who was an immigrant.  

“Don Cherry, let me introduce you to ‘you people.’ My great grandfather, Hira Singh, who served in WW1 & WW2 under the British. All sorts of people have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Canada,” Singh wrote. “Women, immigrants, LGBTQ2S Canadians, Indigenous people. There is no ‘you people.’ We’re all as Canadian as the next. We honour all who served. That's what Canada is all about.”