Rants

Regarding Don Cherry

Last Monday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) made the long overdue decision to fire iconic analyst and awful suit enthusiast Don Cherry.  The firing came in response to (the latest) hateful and bigoted comments about immigrants on his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.   Cherry’s full quote:

You people… love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”

For those who have followed Cherry’s career, or hell, for those who have been conscious of his presence in the sport know that this statement, as reprehensible as it is, is hardly the worst thing that Cherry has ever said.  He doesn’t specifically name any ethic group or immigrant status, but the intention of the statement was abundantly clear.

For anyone else, these types of comments would have been career ending in almost any other context, but in this case it’s much more difficult given Cherry’s cult-status in the hockey community.

As a white kid growing up in upstate New York, with a relatively conservative family, I was your prototypical demographic of an American hockey player.  My friends and I considered Don Cherry to be an irreplaceable part of hockey culture; I owned volumes 1-8,000 of Rock‘em Sock‘em Hockey and nothing could get you ready for some highlight videos like Cherry’s signature “Let’s Go!” and his trusty English Bull Terrier, Blue.

Cherry’s boisterous personality and passion for the game was influential for a generation of young hockey players.  He loved players who looked and played and talked the way we did. He echoed the same sentiments of hard work and standing up for your teammates as our coaches did.  His message was tailor made for hockey’s culture and the development of young, white, North American hockey players.  The trouble was, at the time, we didn’t realize that his message was for us, to the exclusion of everyone else. To this day, I’m still grappling with the socio-political implications of the bubble that I grew up in and the cancerous lack of empathy it fosters. This, for me, is understanding what white privilege actually means.

Two weeks ago, Pat wrote a thoughtful post on the challenge of “sticking to sports” in our society today.   I’ve been thinking a lot about that piece lately, and the implications of the attempt to compartmentalize our interests in the light of increasingly toxic and inescapable political circumstances in the US and Canada in the era of Donald Trump.

Many of the comments I saw in response to that post were basically the sentiment that people don’t come here to read about politics, they come here for analyses of the on-ice product of the New York Rangers.  Therein lies the challenge.  The reality of the situation is that politics have always been a significant part of sports, especially hockey. The issue coming to a head now is that they have predominantly been conservative politics.

Think about it for a minute.  National anthems, military appreciation nights, ceremonies honoring police officers, the inherent nationalism of international competition, the “good Canadian boy” culture.  These are all inherently political statements, as innocuous as they may seem to some.  Now, there is obviously nothing wrong with supporting these institutions, in a vacuum.  This is especially easy for me, as a white male, to say sitting here spilling digital ink about one of the whitest, male-est sports in the world.

This isn’t about me, though. This is about other people.  The people Don Cherry viciously maligns.   Women.  People of color.  LGBTQ+ people.  Immigrants. Hell, even western Europeans. The notion that you might have a real-life, nuanced and personal reason for not lining up to show blind support for military policy, interventionism or supporting law enforcement is so uniquely offensive that it can ruin the experience of the sport for some.  That is how deeply engrained conservative thought is in hockey.  You have one “Pride Night” in a non-traditional hockey market and you would think that the Stanley Cup was being lit on fire at center ice at Maple Leaf Gardens.

It is ultimately the push back against the status quo of hawkish, nationalistic iconography in sports that is “bringing politics into sports”.  It’s not bringing politics into sports; it’s bringing different politics into sports. The notion that these “people” who aren’t the original occupants of this space bringing new ideas and a lack of genuflection for the “history and tradition” that has actively worked to exclude them is insidious and wrong.

Take a look at Bobby Orr’s response to Cherry’s firing:

This guy is the most generous and caring guy that I know, and what they’ve done to him up there is disgraceful,” “It’s a new world, I guess. The freedom of speech doesn’t matter. “

Touching again on Pat’s article regarding free speech, I continue to find it both perplexing and maddening at the same time.  The freedom of speech provides protection from being silenced by state actors (government agencies).   It in no way protects you from being mocked, ridiculed, de-platformed by private organizations or, most importantly, from being fired from your job.

You are accountable for your actions and when you spew deliberately bigoted and harmful rhetoric, you cannot just hide behind “free speech” and expect it to all end well.  In the age of social media and instant content consumption, there is a heightened expectation of “think before you speak”, because the consequences can be severe.

Don Cherry and most of the hockey world refuses to accept the evolving reality of the game.  It’s a global game now, with women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color and god forbid, immigrants playing the game at high levels and de-emphasizing fighting and some of the other “pillars” of the sport that people like Cherry hold in such high regard.  This is the reality now, and it happened on its own.   There was no globalist conspiracy.  The game grew into what it is today naturally and in spite of active desire from the power structure to keep the game as regressive and white as possible.

I know there are people out there who’s response to this article will be “look, I’m not a racist or a sexist or anything like that, I’m just old school/conservative/whatever and would prefer things be a certain way or don’t like the direction things are going”,  but what you have to understand is that to believe in that perspective, whether willfully or not, you are giving oxygen to a political and social movement that seeks to deny basic human rights to entire groups of people and to silence those advocating for meaningful change.  If you don’t believe change is necessary or beneficial in this context, you have not made a meaningful effort to understand how these policies and cultural institutions have harmed other people.

This is the legacy that Don Cherry leaves behind.  He was and continues to be a racist fossil in a ridiculous suit who could not look past his own hatred to see what the game had become and embrace what now makes it great.  If the age of Donald Trump has taught us one thing, it is that we are at a crossroads in both society and sports, and the historically maligned and silenced aren’t going to continue to be.  We must continue to fight for this kind of progress.

The difference now is when these things come to a head, the true feelings of people like Cherry are unveiled for the world to see, and people actually care.  He learned (or hasn’t) that the denial of peoples’ right to exist or participate will not be tolerated in modern society, and his regressive views will hopefully be relegated to fringe-ideologue status, because those views hold no place in a civilized society.  Don Cherry got exactly what he deserved, it’s just a shame it took this long.

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  • Don Saleski on Fred Shero and Don Cherry care of Bill Meltzer, Flyers’ blogger:

    “I don’t remember Freddie ever really raising his voice and yelling. He didn’t have to. If he wasn’t happy with you, you’d know about it. He could be pretty tough on you when he had to be, but he didn’t yell. We all respected Freddie so much. We all knew what our role was on the team. Freddie knew how to get the best of his players, prepare his team to play, and adjust things when he needed to. That’s why he won championships at every level.

    With Don Cherry, when I was in Colorado, it was just the opposite. We didn’t have a good team. So, in fairness, there was only so much any coach could do with our roster. But Don didn’t know how to coach, and that made it worse.

    Freddie was really good at strategy and handling players. He knew how to coax his players. He got us to understand exactly what he expected from us. Then he let us do our thing. Freddie had a great mind for hockey — very detailed — and he was a pretty complicated man, but he kept things simple for us. That was a big thing.

    All Don knew how to do was yell. He would ridicule his players nonstop to try to hide the fact he couldn’t coach. So he tried to compensate by yelling and tearing guys down. Things went wrong, he’d yell louder.

    We had a lot of young players on our team, and Don had no clue what to do with them. No clue. So he’d just scream and try to intimidate the guys by acting tough. Well, I’d been with the Flyers all those years, and we didn’t get intimidated. I saw through Cherry’s act right away.

    My last game with the Rockies, I’d had enough. Don was screaming at one of our young players, like always, and finally I turned around to him and said, ‘Don, why don’t you just shut up?!’ He got in my face and said, ‘What did you say to me?’ I said, ‘You heard me. I said shut up.” After the period, we really got into it in the dressing room.

    That was it for me with the Rockies. The next day, I was sent to Fort Worth [Texans of the CHL] and played there. Then I was done with playing hockey and ready to move on with my life. I was OK with it.”

        • The ultimate cop out, call someone a racist.
          I don’t like Don Cherry at all, never did, but he has a right to make a fool of himself by opening his trap, and letting the crap fly. I disagree with Jim, but I won’t call him a racist for his opinion, or statement, it’s too easy doing so!!!!!!!

          • Not a cop-out, Walt—if a person sympathizes with Don Cherry, and the decades of bigotry he has spewed towards Russians, Czechs, Finns, Swedes, and other ethnicities—then I’ve got news for you: it means they are bigoted and prejudiced too. Plain and simple.

          • Far Queue
            Far Queue

            You come out here calling people bigoted and prejudiced without knowing anything about a person at all. Here we have a cowboy keyboard butt hole showing his gonads, would love to meet you face to face and cram those horrible words down your sorry throat, you disgusting individual………….

        • There is nothing wrong with saying what Don said. Had he made those comments about Canadians instead of (presumably) immigrants, there would no issue. The double standard and virtue signaling is mind-numbing.

          • You’re right. If he had made those comments about Canadians, there would be no issue. Unfortunately, he DIDN’T say that they applied to all Canadians, and his history makes it clear that he was referring to immigrants. There’s no double standard here. He said something offensive that patently refers to a particular group. True, he has the right to speak his mind, but as a public figure, his statements inevitably reflect on his employer, which has the right to condition his continued employment on his willingness to conform to its standards. Apparently, his own ego led him to believe that his importance put his position above the employer’s right to protect its reputation, and he found out just how little influence his reputation actually provided him.

    • 94
      I have to compliment Justin for a well thought out article and exceptionally well present point of view. 94, you brought a smile to my face publishing Don ‘Big Bird’ Saleski’s comment. Justin presented a quote from Bobby Orr. The same Bobby Orr who knows Cherry FAR better than Big Bird. Saleski couldn’t tie Orr’s skates or carry Orr’s jockstrap. Orr has far more insight into Cherry as a coach and as a person. Let’s not even begin to compare hockey talent.
      I like Walt, will not condemn or defend Cherry. All I know of him is watching his bit on Hockey Night in Canada. What I can say is that Cherry’s support for the Canadian Military and Law Enforcement cannot be questioned. And for that he should be commended. Having served just shy of two tours in Vietnam as a Marine in Special Operations, and then just shy of 20 years as a NY cop and detective, all but 4 of which I was an undercover cop/detective, I know how important someone in the public eyes opinion of support is appreciated.
      So his comment can be viewed by the powers that be and they can take, and did take, what they believe is appropriate action. They fired him.
      Walt, someone who I respect immensely but disagree with on rare occasions, summed it up, Cherry made a statement, speaking his mind. None of us here know Cherry as well as Orr, or even Saleski for that matter, but some here have labeled him a racist. As I said, I’m not defending nor condemning him for his statement. Only that Cherry’s comment just may have been influenced by his love and support for the Canadian Military and Law Enforcement, and may not be a true indicator of his opinions in totality regarding Canadian immigration policies.

      • Hey Jerry, I thought it was an interesting excerpt.

        And for the record? The ability of the player does not translate to coaching or evaluating coaches. Who is the Blues’ current, Cup winning coach? lol. 🙂

        • I couldn’t agree more that a player’s ability doesn’t automatically translate to his ability to assess a coach.
          However, Orr who has been a part of the Bruins family since he was drafted without question would know more about Cherry than Saleski, who was coached by him for a relatively short period of time. Orr knows Cherry as a coach AND an individual. And that’s the only point I was making.

          As I said in my post. I’m not defending or condemning the statement. My sole point is you, me and the rest don’t know the man as well as someone like Orr.

          And I agree, although Justin’s point about politics being related to Hockey, albeit marginally related, through ceremony, I personally would like to keep politics out of the hockey discussion.

          Especially when it comes to an issue where people feel so strongly, such as immigration.

          But your point is well taken.

  • Good riddance to Don Cherry, he is a racist piece of garbage. And good on you for writing this article, Justin. The sooner racists are dumped into history’s trash can, the better life will be for the rest of us.

  • I’m a german Hockey Player /Veteran , 57 years old . played and still play the game for almost 50 Years .
    This is the best ,honest and most important Comment about Hockey I ever read . I’m proud of you for this ,even when I dont know you.
    I was always shocked about the dull and really terrible comments of this Guy. I always thought its kinda joke and often it was . But you did a great job to really look deeper into this. Things has been changed and I think , to a better way. There is simply no place anymore for this kind of old fashion bigott People.
    I also dont like all this terrible military propaganda within the US Sport . This “we honour our troops” Propaganda stuff is terrible from my point of view . It has nothing to do with honouring soldiers , its brain washing. Fact is : they do appreciation nights and outside the stadium you see homeless veterans without getting any support of their Gouverment . all this flag rising and armed police or military personell on the ice is reminds us in europe very much at Fascism . I love Hockey , but I hate the Propaganda. Some of the reporters are also stupid with their positive commenst about this kind of events . Its sometimes shameful to listen to them . But maybe they gotta do because its their job.
    But , so or so . everyone can have his opinion . But its time that people works against all this hate speach and political propaganda. Especially now in the dark times with Trump and also here in europe where Fascism is Rising in more and more coutrys.
    again thank you for this brilliant Comment . Youre so right and so true about it. sorry for my English ,I hope you get my points .
    Have a great Life and hopefully we all can learn from you.

    Love

    Lucky

    • Lucky Wilbert

      As an immigrant, and someone who wore my countries uniform in a war zone Viet Nam, I find your remarks insulting as hell. I also spent 16 months at Spangdhalem Air Base in your native country, and they treated us like garbage. The country that gave us Hitler, and you has spoken, your full of it man!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Wilbert, as a fellow Viet Nam vet, I disagree with you. One of the things I learned during my service is that NO group has the right to hold its own interests above those of any other, whether it’s based on racial, national, gender related, or whatever, we are all human beings, and we earn, or lose, respect based on our own individual actions, not on the particular groups we belong to.

    • Well said, Lucky. And being German you have particular insight into the wreckage that race-based fascism has caused in this world. Appreciate your courage in your post.

    • With all due respect, the older folks of Germany such as yourself were raised to be suspicious of the military and anything that smells even slightly of pro-military celebration. This is understandable given your country’s history in the early 20th century.

      America has always had a tradition of celebrating its veterans. The generations after the Revolution idolized George Washington and those who fought for America’s freedom. The generations of the late 19th century and early 20th century idolized their Civil War ancestors. In America, there are many who feel that those who hate or dismiss those who make the sacrifice and take up the challenge to join the ranks of those who protect freedom are ungrateful for the life they are lucky to be living. Remember, even those who live in the bottom quartile economically live better than did most Americans did a century ago.

      What really bothers me is your adopting the word “propaganda” to describe celebrations of the military. To simply label an act or opinion with a word (see Far Queue’s use of the word fascism to describe celebrating the military) is a tactic used to shut down argument, just as when anyone questions the behavior of someone who is not white, they are immediately called “racist”. It is too easy to simply call any opinion you don’t like as “propaganda” – it is meaningless and lazy.

      I have no problem with Justin’s article, accept his bizarre use of the idiotic phrase “white privilege”; I am pretty sure that every nation that ever existed since the beginning of humanity has provided advantages in some way to the dominant ethnic group. We should all work to treat every person of all ethnicities equally, conferring on them the dignity that all human beings deserve, but this is a really strange, perhaps unprecedented movement, of white liberals today to feel that they should feel guilty for being born a certain race.

      • My use of the word “fascism” was related to Lucky’s German nationality. If you’ll recall, Germany was fascist between 1933-45, started World War II, and physically exterminated wide swaths of various ethnicities in Europe.

        Please don’t put meanings into my statements that aren’t there. I don’t particularly care for the post-9/11 sports/military linkup in the USA but I understand it, and wouldn’t call it fascism. I’d call it recruitment.

        • So now the NHL is recruiting for the Military?,what other conspiracy theories are you going to come up with.

    • ” also dont like all this terrible military propaganda within the US Sport . This “we honour our troops” Propaganda stuff is terrible from my point of view . It has nothing to do with honouring soldiers , its brain washing. Fact is : they do appreciation nights and outside the stadium you see homeless veterans without getting any support of their Gouverment . all this flag rising and armed police or military personell on the ice is reminds us in europe very much at Fascism .”

      Has absolutely zero to do with that.

      It has started and become common place now because those Veterans who came home from Vietnam and were shunned, disgraced, and shamed were forgotten by everyone. “We” chose not to do that to the service members coming home today. Are there veterans who are homeless? Yes. Does the VA have major issues? Yes. However, there are a lot of programs and services offered to homeless vet’s, and I’m very sad to report that there does exist a very large portion of them want to be homeless. Society has issues. Service members are a portion of the very society that has the same issues.

      • John B

        Thanks for your support, but we also wore the uniform so that we all have the right to speak our mind. People forget that it’s worth fighting for, even if they make idiots of themselves exercising that right!!!
        FYI, I’d do it all over again without hesitation. As stated in an earlier post, I’m also an immigrant, and this is my country today, right or wrong, my country, and damn proud of it!!!!!!!!!

  • The great thing about honoring the flag, veterans, or individuals who sacrificed for us like Steven Macdonald, is that it allows us to experience something greater than our individual selves, and come together in support of something unifying. Sadly, these displays of respect have become a point of divisiveness in our modern society. We would he better off if more of us wholeheartedly embraced these unifying experiences. Don Cherry didn’t say this, and I will not defend him or what he said. It’s 2019. He should have known better.

    Now, it’s clear that this article is divisive. It is possible to deal with these issues, remain true to oneself, and not instigate conflict – even in a country as divided as ours is right now. Please writer – if you choose to share your cultural, political and societal views on this very nice Rangers blog, keep this in mind. It would have been very easy to give a full throated criticism of Don Cherry without casting a wide net to ensnare all the other deplorables. What a shame.

  • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what Cherry said. The real problem is with cancel culture. The author mentions growing up in a bubble…snowflakes today are creating the very same bubble by attempting to silence any opinion that doesn’t fit the PC narrative of the day.

    #FreeCherry

      • See my answer above. Any person whose comments don’t fit the liberal narrative is labeled with the “Shut the hell up” term “racist”. Is it asking too much for you to have something thoughtful to say, or perhaps you have attended a liberal college where they taught you that this is the way to handle an exchange of ideas. By the way, labeling people who you are not able to actually engage with names is a great fascist tactic. I assume you would take away everyone’s guns too – another fascist tactic.

        • Your buddy up above mentions “snowflakes” and “cancel culture” and you accuse me of using fascist tactics?

          If you’re using fox news’ lingo to describe leftists, you’re demeaning people right off the bat. Save your false rightist outrage for another day and another issue, you all will be handwringing and shouting over some new BS tomorrow anyway.

          • LOL no I am demeaning only you, whose idea of intelligent conversation is limited to calling people racists. Not sure what that has to do with any news organization. As I said, you demonstrate any lack of ability to discuss the merits of a topic.

          • You’re not demeaning me. I’d be laughing at you if the “ideas” you’re defending weren’t so dark.

      • I’m not throwing these words around lightly, Walt—in each case that I used them it was in direct response to people who felt proud enough of their intolerance to sneer at the sentiments expressed in Justin’s article, or by other posters. Refusing to acknowledge that Cherry’s remarks were bigoted isn’t a good look for anyone. And on this blog I’d bet that our families were all immigrants to North America, at some point.

        I’m not one to turn the other cheek, or back down from my opinions either. I’ve got the scars to prove it too. But I’m not gonna trade insults with you, there’s been enough said on this between us.

    • He grew up in a Conservative bubble. This may shock you – get ready – but both sides of the coin grow up in their own echo chamber. Including “snowflakes” who identify as Conservative, who find uproar amusing and tell people to stop being “so PC” until one of their own are shunned and it’s time for Conservative uproar. Get a grip, Joseph, and try reading the article before pushing your one-sided narrative.

  • Don Cherry is a senile old man, with antiquated thoughts, and a flare for hyping himself with those clown suits, but in his heart he believes he is a Canadian patriot. The biggest mistake he made was saying “these people”, wrong choice of words that cost him a job. Do I believe he is a racist, no he isn’t, but with this PC culture they brand you as such, just for disagreeing with the old fart. Bottom line, this is a sports site, fun to comment on our team, let’s keep the politics out of it please!!!!!!!!

    • Cherry said “you people”, not “these people”. It was a direct attack aimed at a specific group of people.

      If you’re gonna defend the guy at least get his bigoted quote correct.

  • “Think about it for a minute. National anthems, military appreciation nights, ceremonies honoring police officers, the inherent nationalism of international competition, the “good Canadian boy” culture. These are all inherently political statements, as innocuous as they may seem to some. Now, there is obviously nothing wrong with supporting these institutions, in a vacuum. This is especially easy for me, as a white male, to say sitting here spilling digital ink about one of the whitest, male-est sports in the world.”

    This is 1000% incorrect.

    Having a Military Appreciation Night, or First Responder night is in no way shape or form a political statement. I work with highly conservative service members and I work with highly liberal service members. Last I checked as a member of both communities: I’ve served under Republican, Democrat, and Independent Presidents, Governors, and Mayors. I’ve served under a Congress that at one moment is led by Democrats, the next by Republican’s but yet still received funding and a paycheck. Same for the fire dpeartments I’ve worked for/with. People with agenda’s attempt to politicize the military and first responders.

    But you do you.

  • It all comes down to common sense, right? You treat other people the way you’d like them to treat you? I find it amazing how messages like this and common decency is lost on a lot of people. I guessed being raised properly has a lot to do with it. It matters not what political affiliations you have. There are rude intolerant dolts of all colors and creeds (just read/listen to the news on any given day.). The notion that the era of Trump is somehow responsible or gives credence to Cherry’s attitude is silly. Cherry’s antics go back to the Carter administration… probably further back. I don’t follow Cherry closely. I remember him as the Bruins’ coach in the 70’s and more recently for his loud crazy suits as a CBT broadcaster. He comes from a different generation that time and society’s views have passed him by. He deserved to be fired, but not destroyed.

    But please don’t lament your white privilege without offering up a solution to rectifying it. What exactly are you going to do to undo your white privilege? Are you going to give your job to a person of color or slighted member of the LGBTQ community? Will you be offering $$$ reparations to all the people who suffered from your white privilege? And while you are denouncing people like Cherry, when do you stop peeling back the onion layers of that person? Do you hold them accountable for their insensitive comments layer, or do you delve deeper? Maybe Cherry acts the way he does because he suffers PTS, or has had too many concussions or had a traumatic childhood? Often people who act a certain way act that way for a reason. Hurt people hurt. One of the issues in the US is people tearing anyone who says something dumb or offensive down completely and destroying their lives. Then we move onto the next victim. Rarely do we see any due process, compassion or an effort to understand the person and why they act or say the things they do. It’s a mob mentality.

    Most people in this world have prejudices. To think you’re better or morally higher than the ones who falter is just kidding yourself.

    That being said, this is a hockey thread, not a political one. I come here to get away from the political garbage that has permeated our society and cyberspace.

  • Well written article, but obviously something that belongs on a political site, not a hockey site. Politics has never been a major part of sports, I guess you must state that to justify your placement of this article on a Ranger site. Since you must attack Trump multiple times shows your bias n really damages any point you are trying to make…sad really. Since most Ranger fans haven’t been exposed to Don Cherry very often, how about posting this article on a Canadian team site…once you get out from underneath your bed covers of course…lol

    • If you want politics out of sports you shouldn’t be honoring veterans and cops at sporting events or having Irish nights. Personally, I am fine with doing both. Most virtue signaling these days is accomplished through the things you support. If you want to wear a ranger jersey you let the world know you are supporting the rangers. Some of us, will wear those god ugly military versions or those god ugly pride night versions. Both are saying here are 2 parts of me. They are also saying here is the thing the two of us have in common with each other even if we have differences I am old enough to have been hearing about PC culture since the 90s. At some point its not a new phenomenon, youre just an asshole who cant respect other people. No way you’d excuse someone calling an African American the N-word, because we’ve all decided that it isnt ok, but it used to be. Don Cherry said something that was blatantly racist and exclusionary, which is to the detriment of the sport and his employer. The kind of thing that 40 years ago was fine, but 20 years ago wasnt really and now is an obvious cause to be fired. Things change. The same way we’ve evolved from saying Oriental to Asian or moved on to politicians having to apologize for wearing black face. We evolve and if you dont you perish. We all have someone of another generation that we have to correct on the appropriate cultural terms, but they arent given a national platform. And if you want to post on a Canadian site that caters to boomers they’ll be offended, but if you do the same on one frequented by millenials and gen z they’ll primarily agree. Gen x is too cool to bother. To quote Abe Simpsons, “first I was with it, then i wasnt and now it scares me.” Thats what happens to everyone as they age in society and its just something you have to understand. And id like to point out that supporting the military doesn’t make you a good person per se, because like any organization there will always be a few bad apples in a bunch and you have to account for them. No one should be making any excuses for the american military during the My Lai massacre. And for those who still want the politics out of hockey, remember Cherry was the one bringing up politics on a hockey broadcast. He was talking about buying the poppies which are a symbol of the sacrifice soldiers paid in WW 1. If he had stuck to his dumbass talking point of there need to be more fights and grit he’d still be broadcasting in those awful suits giving his geritol inspired ramblings.

  • Weird. I don’t see anything racist in his statement.

    He said please buy poppies. To support our nation

    At least he didn’t do blackface.

    What’s with The lack of emotional resilience?

    • He said “you people” then said “our way of life.” He defined a distinction. It’s pretty clear.

  • I am going to be 66 in January and over the years I’ve learned a few things. Prejudice and racism are evil and insidious. Unfortunately, even some 60+ years since the great civil rights protests in the United States, it still exists. However, I have a 17 year-old daughter. The acceptance of and caring for others my daughter and her friends practice instinctively, without having to think about it, gives me a great deal of hope for the future. As the older generations pass on, things will change. Social change is slow and it does take the passing of the old guard and the maturing of the younger generations to complete. But, those changes are inevitable though painfully slow. But they will happen.

  • Justin
    Was this article about getting people to take sides? Seems like you want to be more of a $it stirrer than a blogger.
    I do not care about Don Cherry or his comments. I think this forum should be about NYR hockey. Sure there are sidebars, but those who use those sidebars to cause inflammatory arguments are just as bad as the folks who are being written about. We give people like Don Cherry credence by allowing their stories to linger on instead of fade away.

    • Well said, Creature. Especially your last sentence. Allowing Cherry to fade away unnoticed would be a proper punishment for him.

      I got a little hot under the collar today with the Cherry issue because I’m a 3rd-generation Irish American, whose grandmother was born in Ireland. Because of that, I never will forget to extend help and sympathies to other immigrants and their families.

    • Thanks CF – What is the point of this article on a hockey blog site?

      Don Cherry is someone who simply looks for controversy and finds it easily. He is a joke. No one knows more about immigration than he does. Sound familiar???

      We have enough divisiveness in this country, let alone on hockey matters on this blog, we don’t need to bring Canada’s dirty laundry as a topic of conversation.

      Perhaps you can submit your diatribe to the Canadian Parliament or the Globe and Mail – maybe they give a sh-t because I don’t think most of us do….

  • I never been a Don Cherry fan and he should of been fired a long time ago. But he is right when he says that people should wear their poppies in Rememberance of those who fought for our freedom and human rights. Also, it’s a day to reflect on the horrors of war and why we as a human race need to learn how to live together in peace. But this an issue for another forum, when are we going to see Zibanejad and Kaako back on the ice?

  • Ah culture wars, don’t you just love them?

    Someday the world will grow up … or blow up. I hope for the former but expecting the latter.

    • Well, won’t be coming here anymore!!
      White privilege is a made up, pseudoscience, agenda driven fraud!! How bout, China, is it Asian privilege over there?
      Never been a fan of DC but he absolutely correct in calling out what is happening in Canada!! Hey, let’s go check out Sweden, remember that land of privilege, now you got gang and individual rapings run amok,oh don’t forget the grenade bombings and no go zones!! Women won’t go out alone!!
      You stood on your soapbox, so be it, maybe one day you will wake up.
      Bye,

      • There’s no way you’ve spent any time in China, because if you did you’d know about Rape of Nanking and how the effected national pysche post the second syno chinese war. Its not about color/ethnicity its about power. He who holds the power has the privilege, because they dont have to worry about being the other and its repercussions. And please if you are going to parry talking point but have no first hand experience in these countries get a second opinion. Read more then one news source. I was just in sweden, like any country it has poverty and the issues that come from that, but the amount of drunk women out on a every saturday night tells me you’ve never been anywhere near it nor have any idea whats going on there.

          • There is no such thing. I think the rumor of that was from Malmo, which is a nice city that i did not have business in this trip. That’s like saying are you going to Newark did you go to the no go zones. It is not real. There’s nothing stopping anyone, but most people don’t go into the projects of any country or any city. Please for the love of god turn off where ever you got that source, it is lying to you and does not respect you.

  • God bless America, land that I love
    Stand beside her and guide her
    Through the night with the light from above

    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam
    God bless America, my home sweet home

    God bless America, land that I love
    Stand beside her and guide her
    Through the night with the light from above

    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam
    God bless America, my home sweet home

    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam

    God bless America, my home sweet home
    God bless America, my home sweet home

  • Please spare us of political sanctimony. Wokeness can be either a sign of compassion or One of ignorance. Kind of depends on one’s point of view. I read this site because I have been a Rangers fan for almost 60 years and enjoy the tidbits and diverse views on the team. Life is too short to care about any of your political views. There are other forums for that.

  • Don Cherry can express anything he wants, but the network has the absolute right to get rid of him for exposing his beliefs on air. Networks don’t want controversy. My beliefs are important only to me,so I don’t watch sports for announcers opinions. For that i’ll Turn on CNN or Fox or any other channel. That is why I think that Justin should write his essays and submit them to some other outlet and let BSB be what it suppose to discuss, the NY Rangers

  • Can we discuss the firing of Ruff?
    Can we discuss B.Smith to AHL?
    Can we discuss Staal’s buyout?
    Can we discuss the return of Kravstov and Andersson?
    Can we trade Quinn for Trotz?
    Can we discuss M. Nylander?
    Can I be allowed to say the above?

  • “I know there are people out there who’s response to this article will be “look, I’m not a racist or a sexist or anything like that, I’m just old school/conservative/whatever and would prefer things be a certain way or don’t like the direction things are going”, but what you have to understand is that to believe in that perspective, whether willfully or not, you are giving oxygen to a political and social movement that seeks to deny basic human rights to entire groups of people and to silence those advocating for meaningful change.”

    I find this comment just as objectionable and “reprehensible” as what Cherry said. It’s one thing to introduce politics in what SHOULD be a hockey blog. It’s quite another to demonize those who happen to hold political views that differ from yours.

  • I posted a comment above, so I participated, but I think that my fears about posting articles on BSB that are arguably more political than hockey-related have been somewhat borne out in the comments. Politics are just too hot button and personal. We can argue about Lias Andersson or David Quinn or Reijo Ruotsalainen and although we may disagree, the disagreements do not cut deep. The same just is not true of political topics. So I don’t mean to criticize Justin because I enjoy the site enough to contribute to it, but perhaps “stick to sports” might be the best approach for BSB?

    • Normally I would agree with your sentiment re: politics (culture) and sports, but in reality there’s an overlap at times and sports “commentators/columnists” will have to weigh in at some level. Sure, the mixing of sports and politics on a daily basis isn’t a good idea, but these types of discussions come up pretty rarely (in the overall scheme of things). Let’s say Cherry’s negative comments were about women or people interested sexually in their same sex (can’t say the word, it’s moderated) in locker rooms, wouldn’t we have to discuss the “issue” (the merits of the issues themselves — there shouldn’t be any of course — and the issue of Cherry bringing up such issues in the first place)? There’s plenty of precedence for this type of discourse in the world of sports journalism — as divisive as it may be, so no I don’t think Justin stepped over the line here, this is after all a sports blog about hockey and Cherry has been a long time respected (by some people at least, but not me) hockey commentator.

      That said, like you, I’m not touching this issue with a 10 foot pole — I’m just not in the mood to sit here and argue politics/culture, the last 4 years have been exhausting — and that’s coming from a double major in political science/history. lol

      • I could not disagree with you more. Justin didn’t just step over the line, he unnecessarily and deliberately went offsides to negate a game winning goal when he accused anyone who disagrees with him as actually supporting those who “seek to deny basic human rights to entire groups of people and to silence those advocating for meaningful change.”

        There are plenty of ways to address appropriately the Cherry issue without making this even more political by characterizing those who disagree in such a demonizing and polarizing — not to mention wholly inaccurate — manner.

        • Actually you could disagree with me a lot more. I didn’t comment on what Justin said in the blog post, I commented on whether politics could be relevant to sports and written about in a sports column/blog. There was no judgment about how Justin wrote on the issue.

          However let me state HERE that I do believe there are individuals who delude themselves into thinking they aren’t racists, prejudiced, etc. even though they constantly find themselves agreeing with policies/ideas which are let’s say somewhat questionable in today’s world — especially when it comes to the unequal impacts said policies/ideas may have on a particular group. On the other hand there are also people whose views I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t make them anything in particular. I don’t lump everyone I disagree with into one basket, I have lots of baskets for people. lol

    • So let me get this straight, one blog post out of 100’s …. and written by an occasional contributor … has you abandoning a good site because it offends your anachronistic cultural viewpoint?

  • This article contained the full range of phrases and platitudes from the leftist playbook .It was essentially nothing to do with Don Cherry but merely an illiberal rant from an actual bigot.As soon as the term white privilege was invoked it was game over.
    In cancel culture people like the author of this article look to pounce on anything that doesn’t meet their utopian ideals and set about destroying a person’s reputation and livelihood. Yet Saint Justin Trudeau can black face on numerous occasions and get a free pass , pathetic!
    As George Orwell famously said “True liberty is having the right to tell another man what he doesn’ t want to hear”
    Justin stick to the hockey don’t embarrass yourself by showing yourself up as an intellectual narcissist.

  • You speak of “conservative politics”. To me, that is all about YOUR perspective. If you stand to the left of things, it is conservative, if you stand to the right, it is liberal.

    How about you judge less and open your mind to alternate opinions? The saying “agree to disagree” comes to mind.

    The real point to be made here is that people have opinions that some agree with and others disagree with. It is the power and ability to voice that opinion which you should be admiring and not about the content.

    • Without taking a position, the obvious retort is “fine, but he is attacking people that need defending”, which you don’t address.

        • “It’s a global game now, with women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color and god forbid, immigrants playing the game at high levels…”

          “The game grew into what it is today naturally and in spite of active desire from the power structure to keep the game as regressive and white as possible…”

          “…what you have to understand is that to believe in that perspective, whether willfully or not, you are giving oxygen to a political and social movement that seeks to deny basic human rights to entire groups of people and to silence those advocating for meaningful change. If you don’t believe change is necessary or beneficial in this context, you have not made a meaningful effort to understand how these policies and cultural institutions have harmed other people.”

  • I usually get trashed by the woke police for saying #sticktosports, but it goes both ways. Don…..#sticktosports. Our lives are consumed by politics, and almost entirely for the worse. Sports should be an escape. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but otherwise, we don’t need reminders that half the US/CAN thinks the other half is evil or crazy. As for this article, the Cherry story is unavoidable, but it certainly did nothing to deescalate with lines like “what you have to understand is that to believe in that perspective, whether willfully or not, you are giving oxygen to a political and social movement that seeks to deny basic human rights to entire groups of people.” You force people to take a side, take a position, rather than enjoy the thing that brings us together, which is the fact that Pavel Buchnevich is overrated and should be traded before the secret gets out.

    • That doesn’t bring me together with you, Buch is a damn good player that belongs in the Top 6 for years to come. 😉

  • This is a hockey site… a good one. Stick to that.

    We’re all hockey fans. Rangers fans. That brings us together. Why introduce things here that tear us apart…

  • I agree Adam. Our hockey sport takes us away from the rigors of life and propels us into another world of positive stress…..After all , this is a Ranger site…….

  • Let’s see
    – Lias in Hartford
    – Zibby still out
    – Tim Gettinger to be on the PK for a bad PK team
    – Staal out due to surgery
    – Two very bad defensive games in a row

    You are right, no NY Ranger hockey to speak of so leave this inflammatory article up for 9 hours. Must be needed to show their advertisers that they site gets lots of action

  • And all this nobody has asked the most important question, can somebody please find Ja Rule to help me make sense of all this?

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