Online backlash against Don Cherry for comments on immigrants and Remembrance Day

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TORONTO — Hockey commentator Don Cherry is in the limelight yet again, this time for complaining that he rarely sees people he believes to be new immigrants wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.

The 85-year-old Cherry said on Saturday on his weekly Coach’s Corner segment as part of Hockey Night in Canada that he’s less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers — and he singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto, prompting a swift online backlash.

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

Among the online responses was one from Paula Simons, an independent senator from Alberta.

She wrote that it has not been her experience that new immigrants don’t wear poppies or appreciate the tragedies of war, and further condemned the sentiment behind Cherry’s remarks.

“We don’t honour the sacrifice of those who died in battle by sowing division or distrust,” Simons wrote.

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.

91 COMMENTS

  1. On a very serious note, three weeks ago Cherry said that the Leafs would never win the Cup with the weak physical team they have. Many Leaf fans, and there are many, didn’t care for that comment he made. Could put LOL but, oh I just did.

  2. There can’t be any conclusive findings about what the majority think about the militant history !

    Regardless, since when do numbers for or against automatically equate to truth !

    Not to this point in history !

    In my independent thinking process of choice, I would not change my mind.

    There can’t be any credible argument in disagreement.

    I know that in my mind without a doubt.

  3. Who gives a fk, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Were not living in North Korea. Thanks to the clown prime minister we have all of these extra people being allowed into this country and not enough jobs by far to survive.

  4. Large Ego, even larger mouth, coupled to a small mind=Don Cherry..,Most, if not all, new immigrants came from countries that know more than most the horrors of war.. Cherry is an ignorant jerk and should be kicked off national TV, along with his puppet that sits alongside him…..

  5. Are you kidding me? Talk about small minded. What about the fact that Canada didn’t bother to look after it’s own citizens before allowing thousands of immigrants to come in and take what is rightfully ours? Yet the practice continues with no regard for all of the poor Canadians that continue to do without.

    • “take what is rightfully ours”? Interesting that you say that. In studying history I’ve found that people have said that after the Italians, Irish and other nationalities came on mass migration. People said that they were dirty, would work for less than what good Canadians would work for, that they were criminals, etc? So how is it different now other than the skin colour? I know a lot of immigrants that love this country, are grateful and support their community more than someone born here.

    • Funny how she is from Alberta and Cherry was talking about Missasauga and downtown Toronto. She is commenting on something she probably knows nothing about.

  6. I watched the broadcast and cannot recall him denigrating immigrants. All he said was that almost no one in the GTA wears poppy’s. As many there come from other countries and now call Canada home that the least they could do is honour fallen soldiers.

    These men and women made the ultimate sacrifice so Canada could be a safe place where we all enjoy our freedoms. Including new arrivals.

    The least anyone could do is buy a poppy.

    So, you can be upset at Don Cherry, but if you are, you’re upset with Canada.

  7. I’ve seen Canadians of all cultures wearing a poppy. Don Cherry’s bigoted comments “you people who come here” have no place on the CBC or anywhere else, for that matter.

  8. Ya ya online backlash, opinions are like arseholes. Everybody has one. Doesn’t mean you have to look see.
    Agree, disagree none of it matters in the end. All just poop.

  9. born and raised in canada..loved don’s charismatic personality all my life but he’s an ass. to single out immigrants for not wearing a poppy is absolutely ridiculous. i just got one yesterday, should i be deported? i haven’t had the opportunity to grab one until yesterday. am i any less Canadian? immigrants have no idea what the poppy stands for and how important it is to Canadians. and even if they do, since when is it mandatory to wear a poppy? cherry is racist , cantankerous and needs to check himself. the soldiers fought for our freedom not for syria, not for india, not for any other country but ours. until it becomes law, leave them alone.

  10. Cherry needs to stick to hockey. His comments are rude and divisive. There’s no evidence that immigrants are less patriotic than other Canadians. And wearing a poppy is not a litmus test of patriotism. I’m an immigrant, and I don’t wear a poppy either, and it has nothing to do with my patriotism. I’m just not a fan of sticking pins in my clothing.

    • Abby Obenchain you just proved you have no respect , because you are more concerned with a pin in your clothes, then the bullets pinned into the bodies being ripped apart during war who sacrificed their lives so you can live here free and unfortunately free to choose not to wear a poppy.

    • Abby Obenchain pin holes in your clothes?!? Really!?!I am a Afghanistan veteran. Its not about patriotism to a country. It’s about these young men and women making the ultimate sacrifice. I watched my brothers carried onto the plane with the flag draped over there caskets. People like you need to witness something like that and I promise you that it will change your attitude!! They were fathers to small children who knew nothing about war.. All they knew is, daddy was their hero who must leave to help others, and it was what my kids believed aswell. They were fathers, sons and husbands. Remember someone who never knew you or will never know you died for you!! Least you could do is wear a poppy. Do you have any idea where that money goes? It goes to those families and veterans who can no longer deal with normal life cause they are still on the battlefield. Im sorry but this man bleeds canada. He traveled half way around the world to boost our spirits when we were there. He is a great Canadian and gets it. I just wish others like you would!

      • Scott…I am sorry for your loss. I too served in Afghanistan (TF-108) bouncing between MSG and Wilson. But do we really know where the money goes? While the legion does help some veterans, they endorsed the New Veterans Charter that removed life time pensions and benefits for our fire team partners. As far as I know, salaries for those at National Headquarters are not disclosed and there is no law against it. So why is that? Is it because some civvy running the legion is making so much they don’t want to be transparent? And if Abby wanted to wear her poppy with a magnet so she didn’t put a pin in her clothes the legion would have a problem with that. They have a problem with my grandfather who served wearing his poppy with a Canadian flag pin. So rather than yelling at Abby, how can we encourage her to use her actions to show respect for the fallen other than wearing a poppy? Giving to Wounded Warriors, Volunteering to help wounded veterans?

    • Abby Obenchain and they say the younger generation is ignorant. My fiancée is from Michigan and proudly wears a poppy, my 7 year old son wears a poppy proudly because his grandpa served in the airforce. I proudly wear a poppy and haven’t missed a Remembrance Day service since I was 9 years old, and now almost 30. My family is thankful for veterans and active serving members. You can wear your clothing that your so afraid of poking a small pin size hole in because of soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice.

    • Really? Enjoy your life in Canada? Thousands upon thousands of young men and women died to allow you to enjoy the life you have. Wearing a poppy shows respect for those who fought and died in the wars. Wondering where you originally came from to enjoy the freedom you have to express your opinions. As for your remark about putting sticking pins in your clothes…..I could say where you can stick it, but I won’t.

    • ” I’m just not a fan of sticking pins in my clothing” And I’m quite sure these men and boys who went off to war weren’t fans of bullets, chaos and bombs…..but they did it!!

    • Sorry, everyone! I thought Canada was a democracy. Didn’t realize it was a totalitarian regime that requires every citizen to march in lockstep and think, do, and act exactly like. My bad.

    • Tim Sleeman You are welcome to wear a poppy! I choose not to! It doesn’t mean I don’t support veterans!!! I support veterans by voting for politicians who actually give a crap about veterans!

    • Shirley Recollet I am not rude by choosing not to wear a poppy! Canada is still a free country! It has nothing to do with patriotism! A patriot is someone who supports veterans being treated the way they deserve by ensuring they have proper mental health care when they return from active duty! Which many in this country do nothing about!

    • Abby Obenchain you might be missing the point here…your last remark about pins in your clothes was shallow. You cant take back your words….now you have to dea with the backlash.

    • Amy Pagnotta I am sorry, but that’s ludicrous. It doesn’t matter WHY I choose not to wear the poppy. I don’t want to wear it. I shouldn’t have to wear it. I also don’t like them because they are disposable plastic and the world has too much disposable plastic. My way of honouring veterans is different than other people’s. I don’t tell you how to honour veterans, so don’t tell me how to.

    • You really can’t take back what you said. I bet you don’t have the guts to say that face to face to someone who’s served, but instead comment your shallowness behind the protection of a computer/ phone.

    • Abby Obenchain so you don’t respect our veterans, youre against good paying jobs in the soo. Youre just a real asset to canada arent you. Go back to wherever you came from.

    • I have no problem with the pins in my clothes, but I don’t manage to keep them on without them falling off. So glad they came up with the stickers…I’ve stuck mine on the outside of my purse, where it’s stayed put.

  11. I believe he’s 100% correct. Immigrants should be respectful of the veterans and to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms and liberties. Our Queen was actually one of them. She served. These immigrants pledge allegiance to her, as they should. They need to respect OUR culture, or else they are welcome to leave!

    • Matthew Frank Kot the problem is that you can’t tell whether somebody is a new immigrant or a refugee just by looking at them. To say that a refugee doesn’t appreciate the tragedy of war is just insane.

      I think the senator said it best, and while I do believe it’s respectful to wear a poppy, it’s 100% disrespectful so sew seeds of division, especially when considering the sacrifices made to ensure the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis.

      I personally choose to remember the sacrifices made by paying my respects to the brave men and women who lost their lives. I don’t think criticizing others for their choices shows the fallen any form of respect whatsoever.

    • Matthew Frank Kot your ignorance is as deep as DC. Nice white immigrants don’t wear poppies either. But your racism is deep like DC because he was targeting non white people.

    • Matthew Frank Kot WHOSE Culture?? Are you talking about Canadian values because if we are talking about Imposing culture than have to started learning your Ojibway language and culture? As you know First Nations culture is the first culture of this land.

    • Nancy Davie geez lady learn to shift through the internet bs. There is no such thing as the rainbow poppy and if there was it is up to the military men and women who were in the service to make that determination if the rainbow poppy existed.

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