Sportsnet says Don Cherry will be immediately stepping down from Hockey Night in Canada after comments he made on Saturday night’s Coach’s Corner about newcomers to Canada not wearing poppies sparked huge backlash.
A statement released by Sportsnet said following discussions with Cherry, “it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down.”
President of Sportsnet Bart Yabsley thanked Cherry for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada. “Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years,” read the statement.
The move follows what the organization calls Cherry’s “divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for,” made over this past weekend’s broadcast.
The 85-year-old said on his weekly segment as part of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday that he’s less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers – and he singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto, prompting a swift online backlash.
“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.”