• Don Cherry and Coach's Corner

    Something I thought might never happen has finally happened: Don Cherry has finally been fired from Sportsnet and his show Coach's Corner after criticizing visible minorities in and around Toronto for not wearing remembrance poppies to honour fallen soldiers.

    That isn't the first time Don Cherry made derogatory remarks on his iconic show. He called the players of the Carolina Hurricanes ''a bunch of jerks'' for their post-game home victory celebrations last season. He called Sidney Crosby a ''hot dog'' for sliding on his knees after scoring. Don Cherry declared that only ''Europeans and French'' Canadians wear visors because they are softer than tough anglophone Canadian players. He called Winnipeg Jets assistant coach Alpo Suhonen ''some kind of dog food''. The list goes on and on but Sportsnet and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have always protected Don Cherry. This time however, the eighty-five year old Kingstonian has gone too far.

    The terrible thing is that public opinion supports Don Cherry. Many people defend him strongly and call those who criticize him ''snowflakes'', ''losers'' and ''communists'' on social media. These people claim that Don Cherry's freedom of speech has been disrespected by firing him.

    We have to understand that our freedom stops where the freedom of other individuals starts. Everybody is entitled to have his or her personal opinions. If our personal opinion however harms other individuals, we have crossed a line that shouldn't be crossed. Suggesting that Canadians of all backgrounds should support fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day is perfectly fine. Pointing out visible minorities by generalizing them and associating them to disrespectful behaviour however isn't acceptable. The way Don Cherry articulates himself is hurtful, harmful and disrespectful. That is unacceptable for a public figure in the twenty-first century.

    Don Cherry should have never even gotten a chance to deliver such negative speeches on public television in the first place. His derogatory remarks are stuck in a hostile mindset of the fifties of the last century when Don Cherry was a teenager. Sportsnet and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation need a younger and more dynamic, intellectual and respectful analyst who understands that modern hockey simply isn't about being physically tough anymore. This person might be less charismatic but that isn't necessarily a negative thing. Being considered an iconic national treasure as some people call him for all the wrong reasons related to closed-minded, controversial and hostile comments isn't anything praiseworthy at all.

    That being said, a sports show should always be about sports and not about political opinions, military propaganda and cultural assimilation.

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