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Don Cherry made a few short-but-sweet media appearances on Monday evening, the same day he was let go — or decided to leave rather than work under Sportsnet’s “muzzled” circumstances — following his divisive comments on last Saturday’s Coach’s Corner.
Speaking with Toronto radio host Barb DiGiulio, Cherry first offered some context behind his controversial “you people...” remarks, which sparked an aggressive campaign to have Cherry removed from his post with Hockey Night in Canada.
“What I meant was everybody, everybody — and I mean everybody — should be wearing a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers who gave their lives for our way of life.
“And naturally the guys that are for me and the women that are for me they go, ‘way to go Don,’ and the people that are against me took it the way they wanted to take it and that’s who they listened to.”
Cherry also shared his thoughts on his long-time Coach’s Corner co-host and good friend, Ron MacLean, who took immense heat for sitting idly by as Cherry went off on his now infamous “poppy” rant.
"The only thing I can say about that is I’m disappointed, and I think anybody who knew Ron was disappointed, and that’s all I’ll say about that."
Despite the tensions that appear to be there between the two long-time co-workers, Cherry insists there’s no hard feelings and that MacLean didn’t “throw him under the bus.”
"I still consider him as a friend, but I was disappointed in that. I’m not going to dump on him."
No matter which side of the Don Cherry fence you find yourself standing on, it’s clear there’s immense passion coming from both camps and that this whole situation isn’t going away any time soon.
Cherry certainly wasn’t looking to get fired when he made his controversial comments, but if it’s time for him to call it a career in the broadcast booth, this is surely how he’d want to go out: in the spotlight, swinging.
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