Don Cherry - Little Man, Big Mouth

- jim Young (191112)

When someone says, “He’s a good guy once you get to know him,” what they’re really saying is “He’s an asshole, but you’ll get used to it.” - anon

When Don Cherry referred to immigrants as “you people”, suggesting they should be wearing a poppy in support of the “these guys” that “paid for your way of life” what he was overlooking was “these guys” were actually defending the way of life that allows the “you people” as well as every other Canadian to choose if they would like to wear a poppy or not.

Let’s be honest here. Not every Canadian, whether immigrant or natural born, wear poppies in support of veterans.

“These guys” paid for every one of us to choose which causes we would like to support. Or not.

However it should also be remembered that “these guys” also paid for Don Cherry’s right to voice his opinion; at least as Don Cherry if not a spokesman for Sportsnet.

Afterall, “these guys” likewise paid for Sportsnet’s right to determine how their spokesmen should represent them to the public.

We all owe our way of life to “these guys” regardless of how we choose to show it or whether we choose to even show it at all.

We all have our own causes we support and would like others to support as well, but shaming people into supporting them is not the best way to go about it.

Even at that, Don Cherry’s only real mistake was that he singled out a group of people to shame when the reality is there are many other Canadians that also do not support the remembrance of “these guys” in the manner that Don Cherry would like to see.

Don Cherry should know better. The right to “Free Speech” that “these guys” paid for comes with an onus to use it responsibly. Don Cherry’s remarks were destined to irresponsibly incite hatred against the “you people” he was referring to, as is evident by the memes that are already popping up on social media.

Sportsnet recognized that and immediately issued an apology for Don Cherry’s remarks.

Ron McLean recognized that and not only apologized for Don Cherry’s remarks, rightfully accepted responsibility for not challenging Don Cherry at the time.

Don Cherry, however, has not apologized and even went further, stating “I know what I said and I meant it.”

He immediately downplayed his original remarks however, by changing it to “Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers.”

While that stops short of being an apology, Don Cherry was not about to repeat what started all the controversy in the first place.

I can support THAT remark of Don Cherry’s. It would be nice to see every Canadian wearing poppies to honour, not just our fallen soldiers but all those that made sacrifices.

Don Cherry’s mistake was singling out a group of “you people” to shame and incite hatred and he’s too arrogant to even consider an apology for that.

Incidentally, I personally don't believe for one minute that Don Cherry had any intent to incite hatred against the “you people” he was referring to. Don Cherry is a very passionate man and that shows whenever he opens his mouth. That is a good thing.

However, there’s a proverb that suggests, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

“I cannot be turned into a tamed robot,” Don Cherry said.

Admission of having made a mistake does not make one a “tamed robot”.

It’s time to man up Don. Show us you can be as big a man as you have a mouth.

- 30 -


  1. The Canadian Press reported Don Cherry as saying "I did not say minorities, I did not say immigrants. If you watch 'Coach's Corner,' I did not say that. I said 'everybody.' And I said 'you people,’”

    What he actually said was “You people, you come here, you love our way of life…” How can Don Cherry now deny saying he wasn’t talking about immigrants? THAT’S the definition of “immigrants”!

    “It is the most toughest business in the world,” Don Cherry told Newstalk 1010 “You make one little slip and you’re gone.”

    1) Excuse me, but isn’t admitting that he made “one little slip” an admission of having said something wrong?

    2) It was far from “one little slip”. Don Cherry has been known for being controversial for most of his career. On CTV’s Your Morning Tuesday, Hockey News writer Ken Campbell pointed out “This was not an isolated incident. It wasn’t a one-off transgression. It was a pattern of behavior that we’ve seen over the past 25, 30 years.”

    3) Lastly Don Cherry himself admitted “If I had gone on and said a few things and done a few things, I definitely would have been back.” This statement completely invalidates his previous claim of “one little slip and you’re gone”. Don Cherry chose NOT to use this out to keep his job.

    It seems like Don Cherry is starting to sound a bit more like the other “Don” south of our border - Donald Trump.

  2. On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Don Cherry admitted, "I should've said everybody should be wearing a poppy. It's the two words that got me...'you people', as you know, people are very sensitive like that and they got me."

    Again, Don Cherry has admitted he made a mistake and yet he will not apologize for it, which is probably all it would have taken to keep his job in the first place.

    Perhaps his supporters might want to consider that Don Cherry’s deluded concept of keeping face is more important to him than Coaches Corner was.


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