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Sacre Blue!

When did Canada become old school Russia? Don Cherry, host of Coach's Corner, which is a segment of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, made the statement on his show that French-Canadian hockey players are weak because they wear visors. Call in the Mounties! Not only has the CBC made the decision to air Cherry's program on a seven second delay from now on, but they released the following statement:
CBC categorically rejects and denounces the personal opinions Mr. Cherry expressed during the segment. Comments such as those expressed during the show cannot be repeated and will not be tolerated.
Also: In a statement released yesterday, Harold Redekopp, the executive vice-president of CBC Television, publicly reprimanded Mr. Cherry for his "inappropriate and reprehensible" remarks. Actually, what Cherry said was (paraphrased) this: The only players who wear visors are European or French guys. One government member (they were discussing the situation in the House of Commons) said: "Does that mean that because [former Montreal Canadiens goaltender] Jacques Plante had his nose broken and invented the goalie mask, that he is a wimp?" I know Canadians take their hockey seriously, but come on folks. Or maybe I'm just ignorant about the the rivalry between Canadians and French Canadians. Enlighten me, someone. And I wonder, do you think this incident really called for that type of outrage? Or is this really about Don Cherry constantly calling it like it is and speaking his mind - a mind that most often does not agree with the Bloc Quebecois gang? /unabashed Don Cherry fan

Comments

Tell that to Jeri Lehtinen, Peter Forsberg and the myriad other defensive offensemen who come from Finland and Sweden - all of whom wear face shields.

That said, I agree that it was overblown response to Don Cherry. He is what he is. This isn't the first time he's said something equally stupid, and it won't be the last.

If Don Cherry had merely stated that the only players wearing visors are European or French guys, we probably could have avoided this whole kafuffle. The reason we have this outrage in Canada is because he first implied only wimps wear visors while tough guys go without. Then, by stating only Europeans and French players are wearing visors, he's essentially calling French-speaking Candians wimps.

When it comes to French vs English rights in Canada, it's no laughing matter. Throughout history it's been a delicate balance. Had Cherry made the inference on any other network the outcry would have been more muted, but the CBC is largely funded by Canadian tax payers. Ay, there's the rub.

By the way, many in my family have met Don Cherry and he's the nicest, classiest guy. He loves hockey, loves his country and just so happens to wear his heart on his sleeve. On a Saturday night there is nothing that can pry me away from the TV when Coach's Corner comes on with Don and Ron. I may not always agree with him, but I'm always entertained by him.

Hehe! I think it might have more to do with the fact that if you wear a visor, you can't start a fight. And we all know hockey is all about fighting.

As a Canadian who (God forbid) doesn't follow hockey I can't directly comment on Don Cherry's comment. However I grew up with several friends who were in the francophone program at high school. They were for the most part absolutely wonderful and there was no french vs. english animosity as far as I could tell on a peer level. A large number of french educators unfortunately seemed more interested in opinning on the superiority of Francophones. Add to that some of the strange laws forbidding english signage that exist in Quebec and the frequent separtist rumblings of the Partie Quebecois there are going to be some issues. Even Eurpoean French is willing to use english for a word if that was the origin while in Canada they seem to go to lengths to avoid "tainting" their language with English. Oh well C'est La Vie :-)

It is insane! What makes Don Cherry so popular in Canada is the fact that he is controversial and curmudgeonly. He speaks his mind whether it's "PC" or not. These are qualities that can only be truly appreciated by a country built on passive-aggressiveness. To have the CBC censor an icon like Cherry is appalling.

Then, by stating only Europeans and French players are wearing visors, he's essentially calling French-speaking Candians wimps.

French-speaking Canadians are French? I thought they were Canadian.

If they want to be French, let 'em secede.

Sounds to me like he was just making a joke. The Frenchies could stand to lighten up[ a bit.

Via Fox News:

A Canadian hockey player has been suspended for referring to an opposing player as a "Euro" during a match, reports The Associated Press.

The Ontario Hockey League suspended Plymouth Whalers defenseman James Wisniewski for five games for telling Stefan Ruzicka that he did not fight "Euros" when challenged. Ruzicka is from Slovakia.

Ted Baker, the OHL's director of hockey operations, said the league does not tolerate comments directed at players based on their origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Hockey needs the Hansons.

Old time hockey. Eddie Shore.

Don Cherry also got into trouble with the Canadian chattering classes last year when he criticized his broadcast partner and the Canadian government for not supporting the US in the war in Iraq.

I like Don.

Any network that will put Don Cherry on time-delay on the off-chance he might say something controversial has gotten way too used to public funding. That's the only damn reason to have Don Cherry on your network!

It's also interesting that Cherry regularly takes shots at Europeans without any red flags going up (not to mention the anti-American commentary that regularly surfaces on CBC's "news" programs). Maybe CBC needs to circulate a list of which groups it is acceptable to offend.

Grapes should come down to the states and be on ESPN. They would never do anything so censorious.

"Hockey needs the Hansons."

Here, here!

On the other note...this is what happens when you employ speech codes, though I note that the Canadian approach to this is frighteningly similar to our public schools' policy of "zero tolerance" in relation to drugs and weapons.

Mark,

Are you sure about that? I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, but he would disagree. And I might cause problems if I mention Gre— Eas—

hell, I can remember when goalies wouldn't wear masks cause they didn't want the other players to think they were pussies..