Don Cherry is a problem.
Don Cherry has always been the problem.
Canada is ‘up in arms’ this week and the media is spinning it as ‘a country divided’ over the “firing” of Don Cherry. (Though personally, I’d hardly call being told to retire a firing, but that’s just me)
After going on a racist tirade on Hockey Night in Canada on November 9th, a lot of people took to the interwebs to proclaim their general disgust with him as a human being. Truth be told, this isn’t the first time he’s said shiteous things on television. He’s actually got quite a long resume of spouting horrendous remarks when he gets in front of the camera. Quite simply, I believe he’s been in his position as long as he has because he makes the network money. A lot of money. A lot more money than it has ever cost to cover his ridiculous behaviour.
Neverthless, since his “firing” Cherry has stood by his remarks Why? Because a racist never believes they do anything wrong. That is a fact. Racist people never believe they’ve done or are doing anything wrong.
Quick question: when you get fired for being a racist, where’s the first place you’re going to do an interview about your firing? None other than what’s quite possibly the most racist television show in the United States, The Tucker Carlson White Supremacist hour on Fox news!
It’s worth noting this isn’t the first time he’s spouted racist remarks on Hockey Night in Canada. In 2007 he used his national television platform to promote his belief that ‘Natives have an inferiority complex’, in 2015 again referring to Indigenous people as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’ for their way of life. In 1993 he asked fellow cohost ‘Ron, did you fall off a turban truck?’ when Ron McLean questioned him about the egregious remarks he was making about French Candians.
Don Cherry isn’t just a racist, though. No, his hatred for people goes much deeper. He’s also a misogynist too. With comments over the years about how women are only trying to be a part of hockey for publicity stunts, that female reporters don’t deserve the right to interview players after the game like male reporters do, claiming that women don’t bother watching hockey and all they do is ‘yap, yap, yap’ and that’s why so many of them get hit with flying pucks, or likening me (yes me) to a waitress, because I was the lone female at a table filled with men. I must’ve been there to serve them right? What else could I possibly have been doing if only men were welcome at their table?
As if being racist and a misogynist isn’t enough, Cherry is also a xenophobe, who over the years has taken ‘below-the-belt’ style jabs at people from basically every other hockey playing nation on earth. Russian’s are cheap, Swedes are wussys, Slovaks are lazy, and so on and so forth.
He’s touted fighting as a requirement of the game, frequently over the years stating there needs to be more, it needs to be tougher, more noses need to be broken and more fists need to fly. When people questioned his remarks with statistics of head injuries from fighting his simple response was that he just doesn’t care. He’s told the public that a player was weak if they took time off to recover from concussions and compared players to ‘pussys’ if they chose to wear a face mask during the game.
In case my point hasn’t become clear as of yet, Don Cherry is a problem. A problem that Sportsnet, initially, wasn’t willing to do anything about following Saturday night’s racist tirade as they merely offered the following statement:
As you can see, Sportsnet basically said ‘We know what he said was wrong, but we don’t care’. This is PR code for ‘he makes us money, so this too will blow over’.
Following enough outrage and more complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council then they could possibly record at one time, Sportsnet came out with the following statement two days later on Nov 11th.
The Don is gone! And it only took several hundred thousand people to remind Sportsnet that racists shouldn’t be given a national television platform to promote their racism for Sportsnet to do anything about it. Now that, that’s a quality television network.
THE DON IS GONE! That being said, Sportsnet doesn’t get much credit for this in my opinion. Canada gets credit for this. A desire to be a country free of racism and a country ‘better than that’, is why this racist has been asked to retire.
Where does this divisiveness come from that the media speaks of?
Well, people are arguing that he’s been fired though we’re a country that touts ourselves on freedom of speech. I’d argue that a racist can be a racist all he wants, that doesn’t mean we need to give him a national television platform to promote those views.
People are arguing that he’s ‘a symbol of the working class’. What the fuck is it with people and claiming rich, white idiots and racists are a symbol of the working class? First off, Don Cherry made more money in one (yes, one!) Saturday night broadcast than most of the working class makes all year, and secondly, I’d like to believe better of Canadians than to believe the working class is made up of racist assholes. So truthfully, if you see him as a symbol of the working class, you really ought to find a new symbol.
People are also arguing that ‘he’s not politically correct’ and that he often says the things we often feel but are too afraid to say and that shouldn’t be held against him. To that I say, if your inclination is to be a racist, then it’s probably a good thing for the Canadian public that you’re too afraid to say it. Because, again, if a racist wants to be a racist, that doesn’t mean they need a national television platform for which to promote that behaviour.
People are arguing that Don Cherry is a Canadian Icon. To that I say, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHO YOU ARE, THAT BEHAVIOUR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Whether you’re an icon or John Doe in the middle of a tirade in Aisle 11 of the grocery store in Tuktoyaktuk. Racists of the world, please remember this next time you try to push your beliefs on others. Also, please take this as a reminder that it really doesn’t matter how big or powerful you might be, or think you are, you’re not above basic human decency.
I’m one of those people who believes the moment we accept racist behaviour as a society is the moment we slide the slippery slope to being racist ourselves. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a country full of fucking racists.
It’s 2019, and if this year has taught us nothing more, it’s certainly taught us this: if you’re a shitty fucking person, you will get your just rewards.
Ding dong, the Don is gone. And Hockey Night in Canada is going to be a lot fucking better without his ignorant ego.
Snarky Snippet is a series on Filosofa’s Word and I really appreciate her writing, take and snark. It’s definite inspiration for this post, so please check out her blog here >
Also, if you’d like proof to any bit of what an ass Don Cherry is google ‘Don Cherry is a problem’ and you’ll see all sorts of news releases, youtube videos and interviews of him spewing hate and shiteous behaviour over the past thirty years.