Former Boston Bruins head coach and recently fired Canadian sportscaster Don Cherry spoke on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" about his dismissal after 38 years as a fixture on "Hockey Night in Canada" for his on-camera comments about immigration.
Cherry, 85, told Carlson he didn’t mean to say anything hateful, however, he noted: “I stand by what I said, and I still mean it.”
Cherry left viewers shocked during Saturday’s "Coach's Corner" segment in which he criticized people who were not wearing poppy pins to mark Canada’s Remembrance Day.
"You people love -- they come here, whatever it is -- you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey," Cherry said at the time. "The least you could pay is a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys pay the biggest price.”
Cherry told Carlson he has the support of the silent majority, including law enforcement, and said his mistake was using the term “you people” rather than a more innocuous, inclusive term such as “everybody.”
“It’s the two words that got it, as you know, people are sensitive like that,” Cherry told Carlson. “These soldiers died so we can have our way of life. At least wear a poppy in their honor.”
In his first public comments since Canadian TV network Sportsnet announced its decision, Cherry said he had “no problem” with being fired and refused to apologize.
“I know what I said and I meant it,” Cherry told the Toronto Sun. “Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”
Cherry had a long career in the American Hockey League but only ever played one professional NHL game, in 1955 with the Boston Bruins. He went on to become the Bruins’ head coach for five seasons from 1974 to 1979, helping bring the team to two Stanley Cup Finals.