It's official, Don Cherry has "immediately stepped down" from his position with Rogers Sportsnet and CBC.
"It has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down," Sportsnet said in a statement Monday.
In case you missed it, Cherry ignited a firestorm of controversy this past weekend when he called Canadian immigrants "you people" and ripped them for not buying and wearing a poppy for Remembrance Day as a way of honouring Canadian veterans.
Check it out:
“You people... love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”
Obviously, comments like that are bound to ruffle some feathers. Agree or disagree with Grapes, he was obviously not wise in choosing his words and, as a result, he's out of a job. The true irony is that Rogers elected to make this decision and announcement today, Remembrance Day.
Rogers issued an apologized on Sunday for Cherry's comments on "Coach's Corner" the previous day, about his belief that new immigrants don't wear poppies to show their support for veterans. But, the apology mostly rang hollow.
Cherry has yet to make a public comment on today's news but Toronto Sun reporter and Cherry's close friend Joe Warmington reports that Cherry is "quite hurt" by Rogers' decision to make this news official today on Remembrance Day.
Check it out:
Read below for more quotes from Warmington's phone interview with Cherry:
“I have just learned I’ve been fired by Sportsnet for comments made on Coach’s Corner Nov. 9,” Cherry told me in a phone interview says Warmington in an article just released.
Cherry added: “I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers.”
To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot,” said Cherry.
“I want to thank everyone who has watched Coach’s Corner over the last 35 years,” he said.
Cherry ended his interview with one final message for Canadians:
“Remember to wear your poppy to honour our fallen soldiers …
Again, agree or disagree with Grapes on... well anything really, Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts will never be the same. Cherry has been an integral part of CBC broadcasts for over four decades. His knowledge of the game cannot be denied and he was truly light years ahead of other broadcasters when it comes to on-air personality. Once again, agree or disagree with Grapes but you cannot deny his impact on the game of hockey. He's an absolute legend and deserves to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I have a feeling though that we haven't seen the end of Grapes yet though... hey TSN, you listening?