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This is what people think about Don Cherry scolding immigrants who don't wear poppies
Don Cherry is under fire for scolding immigrants who don’t wear poppies on national television.
The 85-year-old said on Saturday on his weekly Coach's Corner segment as part of Hockey Night in Canada that he's less frequently seeing people wearing poppies anymore to honour fallen Canadian soldiers.
He singled out those he believes are immigrants in Toronto, prompting a swift online backlash.
"You people ... you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that," Cherry said.
"These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."
Many people outraged by the comments have called for Cherry to be fired, labelling him as a disgrace.
"I refuse to accept your anti-immigrant rhetoric on the @hockeynight platform," Shireen Ahmed wrote.
"It's time for Don Cherry to stop lecturing and start learning about the diverse and compassionate country we live in together," Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow wrote on Twitter.
“We are deeply grateful to our Veterans and welcome new Canadians with support and respect."
Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie also weighed in on Cherry's remarks, saying "new immigrants enrich our country."
"For @CoachsCornerDC to say that 'you people' do not respect or our veterans is despicable. We’re proud of diverse cultural heritage and we‘ll always stand up for it," Crombie tweeted.
Some people are defending Cherry, saying his controversial comments were "right on the money".
Ron MacLean, who hosts the segment with Cherry, took to Twitter to apologize for the way he handled the situation.
Meanwhile, Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley publically apologized for Cherry’s comments on Sunday morning. Yabsley says the network has spoken to Cherry about the severity of his comments.
"We have spoken with Don about the severity of this issue and we sincerely apologize for these divisive remarks," Yabsley said.
The National Hockey League also released a statement on Sunday afternoon, calling the comments "offensive".
"Hockey is at its best when it brings people together," the statement said.
"The comments made last night were offensive and contrary to the values we believe in."
With files from The Canadian Press.