Sportsnet releases tepid statement on Don Cherry's vile rant

Arun Srinivasan
Contributor

Sportsnet released a tepid statement regarding Don Cherry’s offensive rant against immigrants made during Saturday night’s broadcast.

Cherry labeled immigrants as “you people” and blasted them for not purchasing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.

“You people... love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada,” Cherry said.

Here is the network’s statement, although there’s really nothing to be gained from this word salad.

Let’s parse through it.

If Cherry’s comments don’t represent your organization’s values or what you stand for as a network, what is the point of keeping him aboard?

Regarding the comment about speaking to Cherry on the severity of the issue, the man has held a national platform since the early 1980s and has hosted Coach’s Corner since 1986. For better or worse, he’s a national institution. If Cherry were just another employee, it’s likely he wouldn’t be retained. A stern talking to from an executive will do little to quell the persistently bigoted and largely incomprehensible remarks made by Cherry, whose segment has long devolved into a running joke.

A quick note: Ron MacLean is complicit, too. Given the task of operating as Canada’s “babysitter” for years, MacLean shouldn’t receive a pass for nodding along while his co-host proceeded into an unchecked, unprovoked tangent against a large segment of the viewing population.

Apologies without actions are useless, but I guess we appreciate this feeble attempt.

UPDATE: The NHL released its own statement and like Sportsnet, it doesn’t really say much.

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