Cherry is only one with the guts to speak up

Editor:

Don Cherry is a national treasure and a champion of veterans, Canada and Canadian hockey.

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Canadians had a bad feeling when Sportsnet signed its 12-year deal with the NHL in 2013, and when it first erred by attempting to replace Ron MacLean with George Stroumboulopoulos – a guy who demonstrated on national television that he doesn’t know how to hold a hockey stick. This was a leading indicator of Sportsnet’s arrogance and how completely out of touch it is with Canadians.

Political correctness in the name of “psychological safety” is a pernicious attempt to water down free speech, precise language and our great Canadian culture. The backlash at Cherry’s comments from Coach’s Corner – championed by the leftist, social justice warrior-types – is an attempt to ignore and divert attention away from his message: the lack of respect Canadians show towards our great soldiers, veterans and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

These “offended” types and the purported damage to their “psychological safety” due to Cherry’s comments cannot hold a candle to our soldiers and the hell that they endured to ensure we have the freedoms that we so take for granted. The results speak for themselves – why isn’t everyone wearing a poppy?

Ironically, in the name of political correctness and inclusiveness, it would appear that the CBC (which partners with Sportsnet in hosting Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada and Coach’s Corner) would like to ensure that those who killed our Canadian soldiers feel included as well. On Nov. 11,  during CBC’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019 program, commentator Tim Cook (a historian from the Canadian War Museum) remarked at 40:27 that, “We have veterans from the German forces, the Italian forces, the Austria forces, Australia. We often don’t make space for them on this day, but maybe it’s something for us to reflect upon…”

First, how is it that Australia, a Commonwealth ally, is grouped with Axis powers? Second, why is CBC advocating on the behalf of Axis soldiers who were responsible for the deaths of millions, and the deaths of the very Canadians we honour on Nov. 11? During next year’s ceremony will CBC ask that we reflect upon Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS members?

What is more insidious is Hockey Night in Canada is prepared to censure Cherry for looking out for our Canadian Armed Forces, all the while accepting money and promoting on national television Huawei, an organization backed by the communist Chinese government – a totalitarian regime with no conscience for human rights.

Sportsnet is bad for Canadian Hockey and bad for Canada. Bart Yabsley was appointed president of Sportsnet in March 2019. Over the course of this past summer, Nick Kypreos, an NHL analyst with Sportsnet for 21 years, and Dough MacLean, a broadcaster with them for 10 years, were let go. The real reason Cherry was fired? Money.

Unless native, all Canadians are immigrants, for which Cherry’s comments apply – especially millennials. Thank God we have Cherry who has the courage to speak up and call to action the lack of gratitude Canadians show towards our soldiers, veterans and dead. He’s the only leader we have who has the guts to do so.

I love Cherry. Increase his airtime. And buy a poppy.

Sean Bracken

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