Don Cherry’s fervent supporters are doing everything they can to make sure the former Coach Corner’s co-host ends up back on the air.
Cherry was fired by Sportsnet on Monday after the anti-immigrant remarks he made during Saturday night’s broadcast were met with national backlash.
Now, approximately 200 people are expected to protest outside Sportsnet’s studios on Wednesday at 1 p.m., according to the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington.
Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, a long-time friend of Cherry’s and an ardent supporter of women’s hockey, told Warmington that she’ll be among those in attendance.
“I want Don back on Hockey Night in Canada,” McCallion said.
“I feel I have to say something because all of this has been blown way out of proportion over the interpretation of what he said.”
Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia is another high-profile Cherry supporter, personally calling the 85-year-old to offer words of encouragement, per Warmington.
“His words came out the wrong way, but Don is not racist,” Bhatia said.
“I just don’t like to see this going this way. There is no way Don Cherry’s story should end like this. He has done too much.”
Cherry attempted to clarify on Tuesday what he intended with his remarks and believes he wouldn’t have been fired if he hadn’t used the phrase “you people” when condemning those who hadn’t purchased poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.
Sportsnet’s initial statement on Sunday apologized for Cherry’s remarks, while indicating that the company spoke to him about his comments. Cherry, however, refused to apologize and was dismissed Monday.
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