Published: Sat, November 16, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Bobby Orr comes to the defence of Don Cherry | Offside

Bobby Orr comes to the defence of Don Cherry | Offside

Cherry was sacked Monday by NHL rights holder Sportsnet after he singled out new immigrants for not honouring Canada's veterans and fallen soldiers in a Coach's Corner segment, which runs during the first intermission on Hockey Night in Canada. We know Hamilton fans would make the trip, and Eskimo fans, after missing the playoffs in 2018, would be more than eager to make the short trip to Cowtown.

You must decide that for yourself - and I do want to hear from you. Cherry was (and still is) being called racist, xenophobic, fascist, misogynistic and homophobic (not sure where the last two came into play on this particular issue).

Flash forward to Sunday where it became obvious many didn't take it the same way I did, and that many glossed over the intent of his message to focus instead on their interpretation of "you people".

Cherry has denied he was singling out visible minorities.

Orr, who was coached by Cherry with the Boston Bruins, said, "What they've done to him up there is disgraceful".

Ron MacLean, Cherry's longtime co-host on Coach's Corner, will not be leaving the program.

"This guy is the most generous and caring guy that I know, and what they've done to him up there is disgraceful", Orr said on the show.

Several candidates would be qualified to replace Cherry if Sportsnet elects to stay with the current format.

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"Sports brings people together - it united us, not divides us".

"Don Cherry is going to be just fine", he said. Is this really about racism, because I'm starting to think it's not. I think with what he said, it was maybe just said incorrectly.

"I know him better than anybody else, Joe", mentioned Orr over the cellphone from Boston.

Cherry hasn't apologized, but then that's Don, that's not what he does, while McLean did apologize for not jumping in and controlling the conversation a little better.

In fact, it's possible that Sportsnet may eventually take the long-running "Hockey Night in Canada" segment in a different direction.

Cherry's rant focused on Canadian immigrants who don't wear poppies - a symbol used on Remembrance Day in England, Canada, among other countries, that is sold to raise funds for serviceman, a tradition that began shortly after the conclusion of World War I. And the question I will put to us is the one that opened this piece: How will you explain to your kids why Don Cherry is not on Coach's Corner anymore?

"To throw him under the bus like this is wrong", Orr told the Sun.

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