We have a bombshell rumor to report, one that will no doubt prove to be very divisive given the responses we have seen this weekend.
According to a breaking news report from former Sportsnet executive John Shannon it now appears as though National Hockey League legend Don Cherry has been fired from Hockey Night in Canada and the Rogers owned broadcast of the NHL. Thus far there are no other sources reporting this news but given Shannon's connections at Rogers from his time there it seems highly likely that his sources are on the money here.
Truly a shocking development.
Update: The Hockey News' Ken Campbell is now also reporting this news which would appear to suggest that Don Cherry has been fired, stay tuned for more details.-
Cherry made waves on Saturday night when he went off on a rant regarding Remembrance Day and what he clearly feels is a lack of support for the fallen heroes who have allowed us to enjoy the freedoms that we have each and every day. It was quite obvious that this was quite a passionate topic for Cherry but it was one comment in particular during his rant that has landed him in some trouble.
"You people you come here 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 during the controversial segment. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."
That statement has been perceived as an anti-immigrant sentiment rather than as one supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and as a result there has been significant backlash on social media regarding the comments from Cherry. Many have called for "Grapes" to be fired over his recent comments and earlier today his employers at Sportsnet issued a strongly worded statement condemning the words used by the legendary NHL analyst.
"Don's discriminatory comments are offensive and they do not represent our values and what we stand for as a network," read the statement. "We have spoke with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks."
Although it would only come later in the day it appears as though the league itself felt the pressure from those outraged at the comments made by Cherry and issued a statement of their own. The statement from the NHL was very mild in nature and did not even go so far as to name Cherry directly.
"Hockey is at its best when it brings people together. The comments made last night were offensive and contrary to the values we believe in."
Things got even worse for Cherry on Sunday when his longtime co-host and friend Ron MacLean also condemned the statements made by Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada. MacLean stated that he regretted not speaking up sooner, something that is of course much easier to say after the fact.
"I want to sincerely apologize to our viewers and Canadians," wrote MacLean on social media. "During last night's broadcast, Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently. It was a divisive moment and I am truly upset with myself for allowing it."
"I have worked with Don for 30 years, and we both love hockey. But last night, I know we failed you. I see hockey as part of what unites us. I have the honour of travelling across our country to celebrate Canada's game, and our diversity is one of our country's greatest strengths."
It seems as though those statements as well as the public outcry surrounding his comments may have finally done in one of the longest tenured members of the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcast.