Don Cherry, a Canadian former ice hockey coach and longtime hockey commentator, was fired from his position at Sportsnet for patriotic comments in supporting of the tradition of wearing poppies for Remembrance Day, ESPN reports.
The 85-year-old Cherry took some time on his most recent segment of “Coach’s Corner” to address the decline in the Remembrance Day tradition, where citizens wear commemorative poppy pins to honor all soldiers who have died in war. He said that in his city of Mississauga, Ontario, “very few people wear the poppy. [In] downtown Toronto, forget it, nobody wears the poppy.”
He then criticized those who do not adhere to this tradition, saying that people who “love our way of life” and “love our milk and honey” could “at least pay a couple bucks for a poppy” so that they could show respect to veterans and those who died.
After a backlash on social media against his comments, Cherry was fired from the network. In response to his firing, he refused to take back his comments and stood by his original message, saying: “I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”