In today’s increasingly “woke” climate of banning speech, canceling programs the left deems “insensitive” and firings based on social media posts and past behaviors, more and more public figures are finding themselves in hot water.
Longtime hockey commentator Don Cherry was fired last week for his comments about the Remembrance Day (Canada’s Veteran’s Day) poppies that Canadians sport this time of year. Keep in mind that Cherry lives in and is employed in Canada, so American-style rights to free speech do not apply.
During a session this week, the outspoken commentator mentioned that he rarely sees immigrants honoring vets by wearing the poppy, triggering outrage from some segments. His employer, Sportsnet, called his remarks divisive and immediately fired him.
“During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for,” Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said in a statement. “It is the right time for him to immediately step down”. He continued.
Cherry has been a commentator covering hockey since the 1980s. Before his broadcast career, he was a hockey player himself.
“At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy,” he said, referring to immigrants who arrive in Canada. “You people… 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.”
He continued, speaking of the veterans the poppies represent:
“These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
In Canada, poppies are a symbol of remembrance, based on a First World War poem by John McCrae, entitled In Flanders Fields.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row.”
Poppies have long been worm in the UK, Canada, and Australia to memorialize those who fought and died for freedom. In recent years, poppies have begun to be used in the USA as well, for the same reason.
The 85-year-old Cherry did not offer an apology for his remarks after outrage was expressed on social media, and was almost immediately fired by the network. Other Canadian newscasters should take note — it is not wise to question the actions of immigrants while on television, if you want to keep your job, that is.