Don Cherry was right… sort of

The last time we saw Canadians this divided was barely one month ago with the federal election. Now, believe it or not, it’s Don Cherry that has people taking sides in this country. (At least it’s sort of hockey related.)

By now you’ve heard the 85-year-old Mr. Furley-suit-wearing commentator offended the masses during Hockey Night in Canada on the weekend when he complained immigrants love everything about our country but don’t like to pay for poppies to show their true support of our military.

“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. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price,” said Cherry.

Sidekick Ron MacLean sat staring at Cherry without any sort of rebuttal or dispute during the broadcast. MacLean later apologized for being complicit. Cherry spoke out Monday night and said he doesn’t take back what he said: “I don’t regret a thing. I said what I said, I meant what I said and I believe everybody in this country should wear a poppy, and buy a poppy to support the families of the servicemen, and that’s the way I feel.”

As I watched the tweets and comments on news stories come in by the hundreds on Monday afternoon when the firing was announced, it seemed like the battle lines were drawn: People condemned Cherry’s firing and people agreed with him. This wasn’t one side complaining about his firing and the other side saying he shouldn’t have been fired. The other side was vocally agreeing with him – in short, saying, “Yeah, if you wanna be part of our country, show some respect.” What is this saying about Canada?

I’ve written before how we’re living in this Cancel Culture thing where if the mob doesn’t like what you have to say, all they have to do is express outrage loud enough and it can easily pressure the powers that be to pull your plug. That seems to be what happened in this case, too.

In this instance, a lot of people took Cherry’s side because they said he was standing up for the country. “What he said was patriotic. How can we fault him for that? He was defending Canada,” wrote one person. I guess, in a sense, I see what Cherry was saying. Having said that, just because I see his point, it doesn’t mean I agree with it.

Cherry’s comments were correct: you should show your love of the country and donate to wear a poppy. Should it have been directed at immigrants? No. I know plenty of Canuck-born citizens who don’t wear a poppy and do nothing to show their appreciation on Nov. 11. Remember when the day used to be a holiday? Remembrance Day seems like it is becoming less and less important every year. It’s a shame people don’t hold it in high regard anymore. In fact, I applaud those businesses that remain closed on Nov. 11.

If Cherry had just kept his rant to be about everybody in the country, he might not have been in such hot water.

Side note: Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, I absolutely do recognize Remembrance Day every year in my house. For the past eight years, I have sat at the coffee table in the living room and hand written letters with paw paintings by my dogs to send to military members overseas. It is a tradition that sees the dogs having Canadian Armed Forces pen pals all over the world. True story.

Lest we forget.

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