In the aftermath of his firing from Rogers following his now infamous ”you people” rant during his last ever Coach’s Corner segment, Don Cherry wasted no time thrusting himself back into the media spotlight.
Cherry’s latest venture — a podcast, of course — launched this week with the inaugural episode of “DC’s Grapevine” hitting the airwaves on Tuesday. As one would expect, it only took minutes for Cherry to riff on his firing from Rogers Sportsnet, which has dominated the news cycle over the past week or so.
First, he got a quick riff in on the whole Ron MacLean situation.
“Well you heard Ron’s version. He’s still my friend, I’m a little disappointed but I won’t go any further than that.”
Then he got into the nitty gritty of his controversial comments, the fallout, and his eventual dismissal.
“Evidently I said something, and everybody knows what I said and I offered to explain — not an apology but I was going to smooth it over, and they (Sportsnet) made conditions that made it impossible for me to do it. I just couldn’t do it.
“I said what I said, and I still say it: everybody in Canada should wear a poppy.”
Cherry then doubled down on his controversial “milk and honey” remarks that many believed were proof that he was specifically targeting immigrants with his comments.
”And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: young men died over there for our way of life and we do our way of life and we love the milk and honey — yes I used the words milk and honey because that’s what we have, we have the best country in the world.
“And I still believe everybody should wear a poppy and evidently I said something that upset Sportsnet and they canned me and I’m now unemployed except for doing this beautiful podcast!”
Cherry then elaborated on the support he’s received from those inside and outside of the hockey world.
“Well, I don’t want to get them in trouble, but a lot of guys phoned me, a lot of hockey players phoned me, a lot of general managers phoned me, a lot of guys from the service left a message, guys were dropping in the door. What really made me feel good would be truckers who would stop and say ‘hey Grapes we’re with ya,’ and give me a thumbs up.
“The way I feel about it is the policemen are with me, the servicemen are with me, the armed forces are with me, and the firemen are with. They’re pretty good guys to have in your corner.”
The 85-year-old capped off his inaugural episode by signing off in the most appropriate, Cherry-esque way possible.
“My last Coach’s Corner, I did something for two young boys from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland — one was 15, one was 17, they died. I did something for Max (Domi) with his book and his stick for diabetes, and then I did something for the Brampton (Beast) and nothing was mentioned about that — nothing.
“Just two little words just seemed to set everybody off. But hey, that’s the way life is. I lived in a vicious world and I lasted 38 years. Happy to be there for 38 years and if I got to go, I’m glad I’m going out on my shield.”
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