Robert: Don Cherry admits poor wording, but stands by controversial statements

Don Cherry has broken his silence regarding the controversial comments he made during a Hockey Night In Canada broadcast where he seemed to criticize Canadian immigrants for refusing to wear a poppy leading up to Remembrance Day.

In his first interview since the broadcast, a subsequently his release from his position on the Saturday night NHL program, Cherry said, “I was taught never to back down and I’m not backing down now.” He continues, “If I got to go out, I’m going out the way I said it and the way I mean it. I’m not going to be a phony.”

While refusing to apologize for his stance, Cherry did show some regret for his choice of words. “I wish I had used something else besides ‘you people,’” he said. “I think I would’ve said: ‘Everybody else. Everybody should be wearing poppy,’ instead of you people.”

Cherry would add that his comments weren’t meant to to single out immigrants or minorities.

On the November 9th edition of “Coach’s Corner” during Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry would remark on what he considered disrespect by those who don’t wear poppies in November. “You people … that come here, whatever it is, 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 said during the show. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Many interpreted the comments as xenophobic and as a result of the backlash, Cherry was let go the following Monday.

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