Don Cherry has been able to skate away from a lot of controversy in the past, but this time, his words caught up with him, says a UWindsor expert on sport media.
Kinesiology professor Craig Greenham teaches a course about Canadian hockey and provided commentary to CBC News on Monday’s announcement that Cherry lost his Coach’s Corner job after claiming on-air Saturday that new immigrants disrespect veterans by not wearing poppies in the lead-up to Remembrance Day.
“I don’t think he should have said it,” Greenham told reporter Katerina Georgieva. “Part of me wonders if Don really understood the magnitude of it.”
The Coach’s Corner segment has aired during the Hockey Night in Canada telecast since 1982. Cherry had played junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires and the Barrie Flyers; his professional playing career included a single game with the Boston Bruins. He later served as that franchise’s head coach from 1974 to 1979.
Greenham said that the nature of Cherry’s departure may hurt his legacy and chances of induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Read the CBC News piece, “Windsor-Essex residents divided about Sportsnet firing Don Cherry.”