WARMINGTON: Grapes bemoans he sees too few wearing poppies

Article content

On the 100th anniversary of using the poppy to remember our fallen, Don Cherry worries the custom could be heading for extinction because he has seen few people wearing them.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Two years after losing his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night In Canada over controversial comments about many not wearing Remembrance Day poppies, Cherry once again is unhappy with what he’s seeing.

“I went to downtown Toronto and all I saw were two poppies,” he said Tuesday. “It upset me!”

The 87-year-old legendary hockey coach and broadcaster was fired by Rogers two years ago on Remembrance Day for his now-infamous rant in which he called new immigrants “you people,” and expressed disapproval over newcomers not wearing poppies.

Now, upon reflection, Cherry acknowledged he could have made his point in a better way.

“If I had to do it over again, not that I would ever apologize, I would have said ‘everybody,’” Grapes told the Toronto Sun.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“That’s what I should have said because when I go downtown, I don’t see anybody wearing them. What I was trying to do was tell the people who have come over from the other countries that we wear poppies,” he added. “I guess I didn’t explain it right, but I am explaining it right now. I should have said ‘everybody.’”

He paid a price for how it was taken.

“It cost me a lot of money,” said Cherry with a laugh. “A million bucks. That’s what I was making.”

He now realizes that regardless of the fallout, including the ending of a long on- and off-air friendship with sidekick Ron MacLean, it was time for his iconic run to end.

“It was time to go, I guess,” he said. “That’s life. You say something, you pay the price, and you don’t whine about it.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

While Hockey Night in Canada is not the same without him, Cherry is “happy” doing his Don Cherry Grapevine podcast with son, Tim, daughter Cindy, and grandson Del. His podcast has racked up 3.5 million downloads so far, and there are no censors trying to silence him.

“I do everything the same for the podcast that I did for Hockey Night in Canada ,” he said. “I have a lot of fun.”

On Tuesday, he was stopped by people talking about how much they miss him on TV. But that’s not what he’s thinking about these days. That’s not something he’s thinking about anymore.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“It was funny, the big, tough truck drivers and construction guys … get all choked up,” he said, adding all he can say is “thank you.”

He loves those blue-collar Canadians, “and the military and the police.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Although he has not spoken to MacLean since he was dropped by Rogers, he said the rift has been blown up bigger than it really is.

MacLean hasn’t been invited to do the podcast, but Cherry said, “I am not mad at Ron. My wife is. But I am not … I don’t have a problem with him. He did what he did. That’s the way he is. But I know a lot of people have a problem with him.”

  1. Hockey commentator Don Cherry in Mississauga, Ont. on Tuesday November 9, 2021. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia

    POPPY’S CORNER: Don Cherry celebrates 100 years of our war vets

  2. Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (left) and Leon Draisaitl celebrate a goal against the New York Rangers in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

    WARMINGTON: Cherry loved Connor McDavid’s goal almost as much as Bobby Orr’s

  3. None

    Don Cherry rips Auston Matthews’ dress code: ‘HE’S GOING TO A BBQ’

While people wearing poppies are not always noticeable in some pockets of the country, there is robust support in other centres.

The Royal Canadian Legion this week told media outlets that “20 million poppies” are available at branches from coast to coast.

Cherry’s point is he would like to see everybody wearing one.

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world