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Scott Stinson: Don Cherry is giving his unfiltered ideas once more, they usually nonetheless do not embrace an apology


Final week, a reader wrote to say that “there is absolutely no doubt that a majority of Canadians agree with (Don) Cherry’s view of immigrants.”

One other advised me that if progressives “really knew how people felt about new immigrants their heads would explode.”

One other wrote to say that immigrants completely ought to assimilate to our language and tradition. Did I actually assume, this monetary advisor wrote from his firm e mail handle, together with his e mail signature hooked up, that “everyone should just retain their own language and live in ghettos amongst people just like themselves?”

One other correspondent requested if Muslim immigrants had been extra prone to put on poppies or rejoice 9/11. “I think you know there was a large grain of truth in what Cherry said and so do most Canadians,” he suggested.

And yet, to hear Don Cherry explain it, all he ever meant to say, together with his feedback on what would grow to be the last-ever version of Coach’s Nook, was that Canadians ought to put on poppies. It’s odd that so many individuals, on all sides, heard one thing else.

Tuesday was simply the most recent occasion of his innocuous clarification, when Cherry’s new media enterprise, a podcast produced together with his son and grandson, launched its first episode.

His son Tim started by asking Cherry to clarify his aspect of the departure from Sportsnet and the top of the 38-year run of Coach’s Nook.

“Evidently I said something,” the 85-year-old started, as if he nonetheless wasn’t certain what all of the fuss was about. He stated everybody knew what was stated by now, which is true.

“I offered to explain,” he stated. “Not an apology, but I was going to smooth it over.” He stated his bosses at Sportsnet “made conditions that made it impossible for me to do it. I just couldn’t do it.”

“I stated what I stated, “ he reiterated, a well-liked line of his over the previous week. “I nonetheless say all people in Canada ought to put on a poppy.

Evidently I stated one thing that upset Sportsnet they usually canned me.”

None of this was notably knew or surprising, as Cherry has been saying variations of this for greater than per week now in a sequence of tv and print interviews. Nevertheless it was nonetheless placing. As a lot as Cherry is a proud man who doesn’t need to bow to the pressures of his company bosses or an adversarial media, right here he was, sitting with household, with a possibility to mirror on what has occurred. And nonetheless, he refuses to provide an inch, to permit that Canadians — good Canadians, as he may say — may have moderately taken offence to his “you people” feedback that had been directed at these “who come here.”

There was a lot parsing of these authentic feedback and that authentic section that aired greater than per week in the past. Some insist that Cherry by no means insisted to single out immigrants, and others say that if he did, he solely meant all immigrants, not those that is likely to be disproportionately represented in downtown Toronto and Mississauga, which had been the locations about which he particularly complained. Cherry himself has variously stated his poppy admonition was directed in any respect immigrants, but additionally in any respect Canadians. “Everybody,” as he stated on DC’s Grapevine, the brand new podcast.

Right here he was, sitting with household, with a possibility to mirror on what has occurred. And nonetheless, he refuses to provide an inch

Solely Cherry is aware of what he was actually getting at within the second, however the inference that was broadly made — that he was criticizing immigrants for being ungrateful in regards to the freedoms they loved in Canada — was an inexpensive one. I’m nonetheless unsure the way you watch that authentic clip and don’t come away considering that was precisely his intention.

However even in the event you don’t, if you’re extending him probably the most charitable interpretation of his pro-poppy message as potential, it’s also true that Cherry wounded lots of people together with his feedback. And it’s also true that in making them, he gave licence to lots of people who’ve since rushed ahead to say that, poppy points apart, immigrants are an issue and Canada has too lots of them. These are actual sentiments which have been expressed up to now week, and never simply in letters to newspaper columnists and in on-line feedback.

Cherry has been given all types of alternative to apologize for any of the damage that his feedback have sparked, even when they did so, as he now insists, unintentionally. However he additionally insists that he can not try this. He maintains that every one he ever meant was that individuals ought to put on poppies, and if folks had been offended by that, then too rattling dangerous, and please get pleasure from my new podcast.

Wouldn’t it be that onerous to confess your chosen phrases might need prompted actual damage? Wouldn’t it be that troublesome to acknowledge that there could be Canadians who, when one of the crucial well-known folks within the nation goes on tv to complain in regards to the behaviour of individuals “who come here,” would discover themselves feeling much less Canadian than others? Wouldn’t it be that powerful to apologize to these folks?

Apparently, it could. Cherry will not be having second ideas.

“The way I feel about it, the policemen are with me, the servicemen are with me, the Armed Forces are with me and the firemen are with me, and they are pretty good guys to have in your corner,” he stated on the podcast.

The time for reflection, it could appear, is over.

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