'There is hypocrisy in all this': Post readers defend Don Cherry


L'affaire Don Cherry réveille le malaise canadien sur le multiculturalisme

Readers have flooded our Letters to the Editor inbox with their thoughts and reaction to the firing on Nov. 11 of controversial hockey icon Don Cherry, once named the seventh greatest Canadian in history. Cherry was fired two days after he delivered a confusing rant about poppies and newcomers on his Coach’s Corner segment of Hockey Night In Canada. Here are the letters from the National Post’s Letters page.


‘I don’t think Cherry is incorrect’

Don Cherry has never been known for eloquence, tact or diplomacy in his remarks. Cherry is revered, and reviled among Canadians for his temerity.

What Cherry speaks to, although obfuscated by his bluster, is what Remembrance Day should be about: solemn reflection on the sacrifices those serving in the Armed Forces have made, and continue to make.

Remembrance Day is a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold the freedoms that we as Canadians enjoy; the same freedoms that make Canada such a desirable place to live for so many whose native countries neither respect, nor offer them.

He is most certainly not the racist that some would have us believe


While Cherry has inarguably morphed into a codger, he is most certainly not the racist that some would have us believe. At his age Cherry both understands, and has lived long enough to have a grasp, of history. He recognizes community, and the responsibilities of citizenship that come along with preserving a healthy community. He recognizes that history not remembered, is history forgotten.

The poppy that Cherry speaks of is a reminder of some of the awful parts of our history; speaks to the civic duty we used to hold in high esteem. It’s also a symbol of recognition, a trinket to express our thanks, and admiration for those who were required to do what we did not, and those now bold enough to protect that which the rest of us are not.

While his comments were not distinguished, I don’t think Cherry is incorrect in asserting that all Canadians, no matter how new, or how established should wear a poppy to both encourage self-reflection, and to give thanks for the freedoms provided to us. Remembrance of the sacrifice of others is an integral part of our civic duty, which all us should take part in.

Grant Williams, Kitchener, Ont.


‘What are men for?’

Game not over … The penalty for brand incorrectness no matter how sanctioned in Canada’s law books is insufficient to terminate Don Cherry.

He should remain as an active symbol of our acceptance of our need for warriors.

Lest we forget … Many of the old soldiers we commemorate at this time paid for our freedom with aggressions that were far from humane.

Cherry’s brand of mock bullishness is outdated, but contact sports, rough language and mouthiness have their place.

If Rogers, the CBC and now the referees holding the media purse in Ottawa think it’s over, they had better be game for some elbows from a legion of pissed-off, less-than-correct, gut fighters.

We should convert our leftover poppies into red cherries as a protest against all this subversive softness … Or what are men for?

Russell Thompson, Victoria, B.C.


Auction Don’s jackets

Following his sacking by Rogers/Sportsnet, Don Cherry might be wondering what to do with his extensive collection of brazenly patterned sports jackets.

Given his unabashed loyalty to the military, the answer seems obvious: auction them off with the proceeds going to the Royal Canadian Legion, the organization committed to making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families, and dedicated to remembering the men and women who sacrificed for this country.

Anne Elizabeth Souris, Burnaby, B.C.


Don Cherry and the late Rob Ford pose for a photo as the newly elected mayor of Toronto is officially handed the chain of office on Dec. 7, 2010. Dave Abel/Postmedia News

‘There is hypocrisy in all this.

While commentators all around Canada rejoice about Don Cherry’s removal from the air, here, in my French-speaking environment, the sentiment is not the same.

We share some of the joy, but people are also asking why this is happening now and why it didn’t happen 30 years ago. And most importantly, why is calling immigrants “you people” any less acceptable than the many unnameable things he said about “Frenchies” throughout his career?

I think this event is telling of what is wrong with Canada. It’s a symbol, a very strong one at that! Cherry’s rants were accepted all those years because a majority stayed silent. The CBC, paid with our own taxes of all things, let this crazy man pour vomit on French Canadians for decades.

There is hypocrisy in all this. Canadians view themselves as nice people, tolerant, almost with an angelic halo over their heads. But not a day goes by without a Canadian newspaper publishing a column or an opinion letter saying how racists Québécois are. Twitter is literally loaded with angry Albertans blaming all their woes on Quebec, as if letting a pipeline run through our main water source is something we owed them.

Why is calling immigrants 'you people' any less acceptable than the many unnameable things he said about 'Frenchies'


I won’t go through all the debate about Quebec’s law 21 (it’s not a bill). Suffice to say we get badmouthed daily in the name of “protecting minorities.”

Isn’t it what we are also? A minority? We are even beginning to joke about it. What if French was a skin colour? What if French was a religion? Would Canada treat us better? Surely the constitution would!

We strongly feel like second-class citizens in this country, where it’s allowed to say things about us that would never be acceptable for other minorities or religions.

It’s fitting that Cherry got fired on Remembrance Day. Let’s use this event to remember the many things that split us apart. Take this opportunity to try to patch things up.

Mathieu Marchand, St-Augustin, Que.


‘When you become Canadian you abide by our habits

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Every Canadian should wear a poppy in respect and if they don’t, should be told about it. This is our country and when you become Canadian you abide by our habits.

Thank God some people know how to say it as it is. I don’t believe Don Cherry was picking out anyone in general but all who didn’t wear poppies. Men and women died to keep this country free and are due our respect.

Patricia Wadman, Dartmouth, N.S.


Don Cherry sports a jacket emblazoned with red maple leaves on Canada Day, July 1, 2017. Craig Robertson/Postmedia News

‘Why can’t people express their opinions?

Thank you Don Cherry for standing up for free speech.

Why can’t people express their opinions anymore?

It’s OK to say something as long as the left says it is OK; if they don’t give their blessing, then watch out.

I believe there are a lot of people who privately agree with being allowed to speak freely, but won’t publicly say so. Because of that fear, free speech will just continue to become less and less free.

Patricia Maloney, Ottawa


The National Post welcomes letters to the editor (preferably 150 words or fewer) at letters@nationalpost.com. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters are edited for clarity and length.