The big question arising out of the Don Cherry fiasco is whether he’ll lead the Conservative Party of Canada or start his own?
Don’t laugh. SportNet’s firing of Cherry over ‘you people’ comments on Hockey Night in Canada could send a right-wing ripple in motion. Depending on the wind, the Cherry wave could topple an already battered and bruised Liberal minority government.
Politics is personality. Could happen. Look south of the border.
Andrew Sheer is cold porridge in comparison and the Tory leader should be shaking in his boots.
Cherry isn’t in his prime but he’s likely ripe to get primed for another chance at the big stage he just lost. Or not. He’s got options, a faithful following and more means than some.
And there are flames being fanned to capitalize on the clash along legendary divisive “pinko, commie and red neck” lines.
Always a supporter of veterans, Cherry was promoting the wearing of poppies as an act of respect all people in Canada should follow. But he singled out those “who come here” (immigrants) and said they enjoy the “milk and honey” so “you people” should donate a buck or two in honour of Canadians who already paid the ultimate price.
He was talking about Mississauga and Toronto specifically. Two nights before Remembrance Day.
It wasn’t taken well, judging by the high volume of public discourse on the matter. Easy bait for trolls out there. Families are divided.
Ron MacLean said he regretted not addressing the problem when he had the chance … but condemned Cherry’s discriminatory wording. Nice friend.
Joe Warmington, of the Toronto Sun, said Cherry was much more articulate and expansive when interviewing him the day before on the same subject. He was initially drawing comparisons to small towns, where poppies are more visible, and big cities, where they are not as pervasive.
The “you people … who come here” part wasn’t previously tied directly together, Warmington said while calling for his reinstatement.
Truth be told, a lot of people have had it out for Cherry
after decades of hearing his nationalistic politics ad nausium from his privileged CBC podium. Every.
Saturday. Night. They didn't hesitate in making the leap between "you people ... who come here" to the high number of immigrants in Mississauga and parts of Toronto, many of South Asian origin (who were well-represented in the initial backlash of anti-Cherry tweets on Twitter).
On social media, many people were admitting Cherry may have heaped scorn and derision on Europeans, Russians, Quebecers, Liberals, Commies, Pinkos, wimpy players and pushy female reporters, but swore he is not racist … just extremely patriotic and set in his ways, so give him a break.
Regardless, SportsNet felt compelled to swing the axe on Remembrance Day, giving the martyred Cherry more sympathetic momentum going into his political career.
Thanks SportsNet, way to go. You could have handled this very differently.
The right-leaners now have a Messiah … unless, of course, Rebel Media gets involved. They’ll likely find a way to drive the campaign bus into the ditch.