Sportsnet has apologized after hockey commentator Don Cherry complained on national television that he rarely sees people he believes are immigrants wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.
Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley says Cherry’s comments are offensive and discriminatory.
Statement from Sportsnet: <a href=”https://t.co/QZ76r9Y7sb”>pic.twitter.com/QZ76r9Y7sb</a>
Yabsley says the network has spoken to Cherry about the severity of his comments.
The 85-year-old Hockey Night in Canada personality made the remarks during his weekly Coach’s Corner segment, saying that newcomers to Canada love the way of life here but don’t honour veterans.
WATCH | Don Cherry in hot water over comments on Coach’s Corner:
On Saturday night, Cherry’s comments prompted a swift online backlash, with many calling for his firing.
Cherry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among the online responses was one from Paula Simons, an independent senator from Alberta.
Attention <a href=”https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerDC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CoachsCornerDC</a>, Don Cherry. (Photo:<a href=”https://twitter.com/HkyNightPunjabi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@HkyNightPunjabi</a>) <a href=”https://t.co/y9fTDPjtIQ”>pic.twitter.com/y9fTDPjtIQ</a>
Cherry made his comment prior to running his annual Remembrance Day video montage, where he is seen walking through a military cemetery in France visiting the graves of Canadian soldiers who went to battle in the First World War.
Poppies are sold every year starting on the last Friday in October until Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 by The Royal Canadian Legion to raise money in support of veterans and their families.
For <a href=”https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerDC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CoachsCornerDC</a> to say that “you people” do not respect 🇨🇦 or our veterans is despicable. We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we‘ll always stand up for it. New immigrants enrich our country for the better. We’re all Canadians and wear our poppies proudly.