Don Cherry Won't Issue Apology in Order to Return to Hockey Night in Canada

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2019

TORONTO , ON - OCTOBER 9: NHL personality Don Cherry shows off his new jacket a gift from the Toronto Marlies prior to Opening Night AHL game action on October 9, 2015 at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Graig Abel Photography)
Graig Abel/Getty Images

Longtime Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry says Sportsnet "made it impossible" for him to explain the controversial comments that led to his firing from the network.

The Associated Press (via ESPN) noted Cherry said on the Grapevine podcast he wanted to explain the remarks but was not willing to apologize or accept other conditions set by Sportsnet in order for him to retain his position.

Cherry said on his podcast, "Two little words just seemed to set everybody off." He used the phrase "you people"—widely viewed as directed toward immigrants and minorities—during a Remembrance Day discussion. He said on his podcast that wasn't the case and that he wanted a chance to expand on his stance on air, but it wasn't granted.

The 85-year-old Kingston, Ontario, native was fired by Sportsnet on Nov. 11.

Cherry was a Hockey Night in Canada staple with his "Coach's Corner" segment, which began in 1982. He became known for his old-school hockey opinions, highlighted by his belief that fighting was a necessary part of the game, as well as his colorful suits.

The former hockey player and coach started the Grapevine podcast with his son, Tim, following his termination by Sportsnet.