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Ron MacLean (left) sits beside Don Cherry as Rogers TV unveils their team for the station's NHL coverage in Toronto on March 10, 2014. MacLean addressed Don Cherry's dismissal during the first intermission of Saturday's 'Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.


Readers respond: On Saturday, Don Cherry was erased from Hockey Night in Canada in more ways than one

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Some changes make you feel good. Some make you feel sad. You are aging. You will experience changes and feel the same when your time comes.

Don Cherry was saddened by the fading support for the poppy program, and consequently, for the sacrifices others made to our benefit. Nothing wrong with that.

I am saddened by the lack of effort to understand Cherry’s concern. Primacy was given to vilifying him, in an ugly display of current society’s gang-up attitude toward slights perceived or real.

We beat people up; we move on to the next beating; and somehow this feels satisfying to the angry hordes. Ron MacLean has embraced this change. Enjoy your next beating, Ron. I hope you feel better for it. –George Bay


The man made bigoted statements on the air for decades. Finally one of them was too much for his employer, and they fired him. The true ugliness is in the bigotry and the chord it struck in his supporters. –Alceste


I have said many dumb things in my time, lashed out in anger, had words misconstrued and sometimes had to apologize, clarify, retract, explain. I am thankful that in pretty much every case, the person I was speaking to recognized that they were also flawed, and perhaps either of us imputing the most nefarious intent to every word spoken is not entirely fair and no way to conduct human relations.

Sportsnet has the right to fire Don Cherry if they deem him damaging to their image. But I find the vindictiveness of today’s social media mob – the desire to destroy people’s lives and careers with no second chances if every word does not pass muster – to be disheartening. –Freshycat

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‘The problem with demonizing Don Cherry is that he is not the problem.’ What readers think of his firing from Hockey Night in Canada

Don Cherry, Colin Kaepernick and why ‘stick to sports’ doesn’t work

Don Cherry’s downfall: He became more interested in his own opinions than hockey

Hockey has long defined Canada, but it’s time to reassess our relationship

Don Cherry poses for a photo in Toronto on March 10, 2014.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Still upset about it. I’m all over being multicultural but this is the end of Canadian culture as we know it. 10 years from now, it’ll be Soccer Night in Canada. Again, I’m all for multiculturalism, but Canada is losing its identity and fast. Pretty sad. –Will96


Canada is growing up, and we have room for more than one sport. –Oooooops


Hypocrisy at its highest. This Bud’s for political correctness, not for you, Canada.

From Coach’s Corner to HR’s Corner. –BJBeat


Having met Don Cherry a few times, I’ve seen firsthand what a gentleman he truly is, taking over a room with genuine warmth. In person, he is simply a pro at making people feel good. Having witnessed that, what becomes apparent by contrast is how his role on HNIC had become just that: a role he came to play on camera, and one that his fans (myself included) expected of him. The way he spoke, his defiance, his mispronunciations, his put downs on Ron MacLean.

But it had all become pretty redundant. Even Johnny Carson and David Letterman knew when to eventually take the exit door. I’ll miss Don Cherry, and wish him well. There will, no doubt, never be another quite like him. –Lorne M-G

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On Hockey Night in Canada's Nov. 9 Coach's Corner segment Don Cherry with Ron MacLean.

CBC/CBC

There isn’t a question that Don Cherry was wrong, even he begrudgingly admits that he could have chosen better words. However in the “new world,” as Ron MacLean puts it, there are no second chances, no lighter sentences or rehabilitation, you are out.

When California first introduced their infamous “three strikes and you are out” rule on crime, most Western democracies found that to be cruel and unnecessary. In the world of political correctness, it has become the norm that one strike and you are out, and most people seem quite fine with that.

In an age of reconciliation, understanding and acceptance of different views and, of course, compassion, there is also a blank spot where the wrong few words can get you banished, as in Cherry’s case.

Cherry, at 85, will be fine. He doesn’t need the money and will find something else to do, although it is unlikely it will be in media. However, we should consider that regardless of the fact that Cherry’s comments were wrong, is this the type of justice we want? –JeffSpooner


Don Cherry was a character with a lot of interesting stuff to say. He has had a great career and was an integral part of our Saturday nights.

I wonder why he didn’t jump right in the next day and say that he was angry at everybody who didn’t wear a poppy, and that he didn’t intend to single out immigrants. He knows that a blanket condemnation of any group isn’t right.

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It is too bad that it ended this way. –one-eighty


What’s missing from the present situation is that Don Cherry made clear he wanted no rehab. Instead of acknowledging his error, stepping back from and softening his comments, he spent the week digging his heels in and doubling down. He did all but permanently tattoo his rant across his own forehead.

I think recovery from his big slip-up could have been easy, but he refused to participate. And so, there is no lighter sentence, no rehab, no parole. –JPP221


Don Cherry had many second chances. If you want to share the blame, maybe it’s the people (his producers) who let him stray by a few degrees every year from his original Coach’s Corner mandate. Like a ship that’s only off course by a little, after a lot of time, it’s way off and ends up on shoals.

Cherry is a grown man and was a highly paid professional. He made his own mess. –Not the Alliance

Ron MacLean and Don Cherry.

Archie Bunker would not exist today. What a pity! We need to get rid of our enormous chip on our shoulder and learn again to laugh at ourselves. Not everything is done and said with malice, sometimes it’s just plain humour. If we don’t, then anything, by anyone, can be considered offensive by the next person. –Silva2

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I love Archie Bunker. The writers were decades ahead of their time. I’m not sure they couldn’t pull it off again, even today. Archie wasn’t given a bully pulpit – the best scenes were with Jefferson’s son, who would make Archie look simple and wrong by playing along.

In 99 per cent of the cases, Ron MacLean did a good job of pushing back on Don Cherry when he was being Archie. MacLean was right: If he caught him on this most recent faux-pas, Cherry’s run as Archie probably continues. –PeterK2262


Can’t help but think this would be a good time for Ron MacLean to exit. –patti o furniture


Oh but there are second chances for a select few. Our Prime Minister comes to mind. –billy112


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