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On Don Cherry
Re Don Cherry Fired By Sportsnet In Wake Of Coach’s Corner Comments On Immigrants, Remembrance Day (Online, Nov. 11): As someone who immigrated here 32 years ago, I found Don Cherry’s remarks extremely hurtful. He has sown seeds of divisiveness in Canada’s multicultural society. Sportsnet apologized for his remarks. This was inadequate. Don Cherry’s firing is fair.
Lorine Lam Toronto
In 1987, Hockey Night in Canada host Dave Hodge was fired after throwing a pen as he criticized the CBC for not staying on air to cover an overtime game. Seems almost quaint in comparison to Don Cherry’s latest diatribe.
Tom Scanlan Toronto
When you are 85 years old and are resolute in your conviction, I believe you have earned the right to express your opinions in any manner that suits you and have the courage to be disliked for it.
I do not agree with what Don Cherry said. And while the commercial sponsors may have also disagreed, they should have supported the man’s individual right to self-expression. To uphold freedom of expression is the mantle upon which they should be judged.
Mr. Cherry’s views should be there for our free debate and consensus, or not.
Neil McLaughlin Burlington, Ont.
Don Cherry’s popularity was undeniable despite the bizarre rants, Saturday night being the latest example.
One of his favorite themes has been his complaint that Europeans come over here and take “Canadian” jobs. Curious from a man who, for most of his playing and coaching career, was a Canadian taking “American” jobs.
That said, he should have been free to speak his mind. The mute button and the other channel are options for us all.
J. C. Henry Mississauga
I cannot say I am totally surprised at the news of Don Cherry’s firing. If we are willing to admit it, he seems well past his best-before date.
I just think it is sad to see him go out this way. For a while now, I have thought Mr. Cherry should go quietly into the night. Essentially, he has told his story. But now he has chosen to go out on his shield. If one read his book, one would realize it was the only way he would go.
Andrew Baker Burlington, Ont.
Don Cherry was offensive and divisive? Really? And we are surprised?
Patrick Martin Westmount, Que.
Re How Far Is Too Far For Don Cherry? (Sports, Nov. 11) and What Don Cherry Forgets About Remembrance Day, Hockey And What Unites Canada (Online, Nov. 10): At the Remembrance Day ceremony I attended, I was so pleased to note that the organizers spoke loudly, but silently on notions such as Don Cherry’s. There were four representatives of the branches of the services standing guard, poppies on, at the corners of the cenotaph: an Asian-Canadian, an African-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian and a First Nations member. Two women and two men.
As I thought about my father and father-in-law (a Burmese immigrant to Canada) – both fliers, both shot down and both detained in the same prisoner-of-war camp, Stalag Luft III – I realized that Canadians of all origins are thankfully not a bowl of homogenous cherries.
David Ferry Toronto
Don Cherry’s latest foot-in-mouth routine was most disturbing, not because he disdains people who don’t wear a poppy, but rather because he seems to know that they are immigrants.
What do immigrants look like? Mr. Cherry seems to believe the men are swarthy and the women all cover their heads. In other words, they aren’t white. And that should tell us everything we need to know about Don Cherry.
Geoff Rytell Toronto
Don Cherry thinks that people who come here should respect the traditions of those who came before. I wonder whether Mr. Cherry has much respect for the traditions of the Indigenous peoples who were here before him.
Bob Tennent Kingston
Many of “us people” do not wear a poppy to commemorate Remembrance Day. I, for one, misplace every poppy I buy, almost instantly. But it doesn’t mean I am any less grateful for our soldiers and veterans. Wearing a poppy is one way of showing unity and patriotism, but it is not the only way.
Mary Keogh Toronto
I love Canada. I love hockey, especially the Toronto Maple Leafs. Every year I, alongside hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims, raise money for the Royal Canadian Legion. I recognize what Canadians past and present have sacrificed for my freedom.
Yet Don Cherry, a white man with incredible privilege, has so casually alienated many Canadians as “you people.” Ahmadi Muslims live by a saying of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him: “Love of country is part of faith.” That’s why we run campaigns such as Muslims for Remembrance and take our kids to the streets to fundraise for our veterans.
Canada is our home and our loyalty lies with her. My skin may be brown, but I am every bit as Canadian as Don Cherry.
Alia Mazhar Toronto
On Remembrance Day
Re Then She Found Him (First Person, Nov. 11): Karen McCall writes movingly about her mother’s pilgrimage to the huge memorial at Thiepval to find her uncle’s marker.
They could have eased their search by consulting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website. This allows you to locate the memorials for more than 1.7 million serving men and women who died in conflict. There is also an app that provides driving directions. This magnificent organization, which Canada helps fund, is responsible for the upkeep of the graves in 23,000 cemeteries around the world.
And they are visited. On a recent trip to Vimy last month, I was struck by the number of entries in visitors’ books in the cemeteries. Like me, many of them came to honour a relative who had perished.
Araminta Wordsworth Toronto
As a wartime naval veteran, I guess I’m pretty identifiable: white hair, walks sometimes with a cane, wears a crested blazer at formal events. Contributor Kelly S. Thompson’s words rang true to me: “It matters what we call people who serve, and that we reflect and respect their services equally.” (‘You Don’t Look Like A Veteran’ – Opinion, Nov. 9) I’ve been called on to give talks and have taken that mantra as my guide: Remember what? How can you remember if you weren’t there? Reflect is indeed the better term.
For we naval types, there are names in the University of Toronto archway under the Hart House Soldiers’ Tower, unknown mostly except to their families. In my talks I draw attention to a couple and tell the story of why they appear – what they died for and why. So if remembrance is a bit too vague for the newer generation, then indeed reflect on what they and their like did – as Ms. Thompson says, whether it be a newer or older veteran, male or female, early wars or last month.
Commander Fraser McKee, RCN (retired) Toronto
If we really want to honour our military women and men, beyond one day a year, then all of us should step up our efforts at being citizens worthy of their service.
Would a grandfather lost at Dieppe accept excuses for not voting in an election? Would a veteran suffering PTSD accept any rationale for thoughtlessly shared, divisive social-media posts? Would a family mourning the loss of a loved one during a peacekeeping mission approve of how we argue over immigration and refugees?
I believe it’s time we showed our service women and men, both past and present, that their sacrifices to defend Canadian values were worth it.
Mark Johnson Newmarket, Ont.
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