TORONTO – In a surprising turn of events, Sportsnet has announced this afternoon that Don Cherry will be removed from his role as host of Coaches’ Corner on Hockey Night in Canada. This comes following an anti-immigrant rant Cherry had live on air Saturday night, in which he criticized immigrants for not paying respect to those who fought in WWI by wearing a poppy, while conveniently not targeting non-immigrants and white people who do the same thing.
The news is a particular shock, as it initially appeared as though Sportsnet were attempting to sweep the incident under the rug, and give Cherry an opportunity to issue a public apology he didn’t mean and move on. Cherry however, declined the opportunity to keep his job and somewhat salvage his public image, instead doubling down on his xenophobic comments, claiming “I know what I said, and I meant it.”
The news of Cherry’s firing has garnered a polarizing public reaction. The split in opinion seems to be generally age-based, with older viewers criticizing Sportsnet, citing the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech, and calling Sportsnet’s younger audience “snowflakes”. Younger viewers have responded to these comments with a unanimous “ok boomer”, as well as reminding the older viewers that we live in Canada, and the 1st Amendment is to the American Constitution.
The controversy over Sportsnet’s decision is so widespread that it has even been taken to the highest political office in the country. When asked for his thoughts on discriminatory behaviour leading to a famous white man being removed from his job, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered, “Ummmm, that’s ummmmm a pretty important question. One that really…….takes time to think about. I have to go to the bathroom.” Trudeau then turned and sprinted away from the assembled journalists.
If there’s one thing that the general public agrees on, it’s that this decision is an isolated freak incident. “I don’t expect another rich white guy to be held accountable for at least a decade,” said Andrew Brown, professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. “Cherry’s mistake here was being employed by someone. Guys like Bezos or Zuckerberg are able to more effectively avoid consequences in scenarios like this because they can’t be fired. That’s a level of consequence avoidance that money can’t buy. Wait….”