The firing of Don Cherry sure as hell caused a lot of buzz. As is the case with everything, there was a divide as to whether his firing was justified. His firing ended up being a topic of conversation on ‘The Social’ as well. Jess Allen spoke on it and when she told her story and made her comments I understood them to be ‘her experience’. Apparently I was in the minority as many felt she was generalizing hockey culture. And with that she and the network got tons of backlash demanding for her firing.. In the end she and the network put out an apology. I’ll be honest I don’t think she was generalizing at all but I also don’t think she was far off either. For a few years I saw first hand what she described as her experience. Were all the players bullies? No. Were all the parents bullies? No. But there were enough. Were they all privileged? No. But there were enough in that camp as well. And at the end of the day, all it takes is one bully for it to be a pblm. At the time I was coaching soccer and a good portion of the players were elite hockey players as well (As a sidebar, not one player of color). Players that trained year round. And one time when I had the ‘audacity’ to ask a parent to put an effort to get his kid to soccer practice as well during the summer I had this parent tell me that his kid didn’t need to practice soccer because he was ‘that good’. Saying this to me all the while poking me in the chest with his forefinger. So ya, someone had audacity but it wasn’t me. Bullying and privileged culture was and is alive and well in hockey. That’s but one example so you might think I shouldn’t make a mountain out of a molehill but that wasn’t the only example. If I were to document all my experiences, this post would last for days. But at the same time I also need to call a spade, a spade. This exists in all walks of life.
Anyway, the same people who called out the Don Cherry firing an unnecessary over reaction were now calling for the firing of Jess Allen for speaking her truth and her experience. Cancel culture at its best.
The end of an era. Whatever it may have been. Growing up I was hooked on hockey and the Montreal Canadians… I definitely watched my share of Don Cherry and his rants. My interest in hockey has waned over the years so I can honestly say that what comes next is my opinion based on what I remember and what I have read so take it as you want.
Don Cherry is old school. The guy’s MO has mainly been rants. He rants about everything. I truly believe that Ron has tuned out many a times over the years. The fact is that even when I was watching hockey religiously and listened to Don I never put a lot of weight in anything he said. Having said that, his latest rant is nothing new… history can attest to that. Case in point, his issues with European or Quebec hockey players is not just about their hockey style. It’s rooted in racism. And in the end nothing good ever comes after speaking the words ‘you people’. Nothing. Even Jimmy Hoffa felt the wrath after uttering those words against an Italian. 😋 (insert the Irishman plug here). And in an effort to have his say, Don agreed to an interview with none other than Tucker Carlson probably one of the most vile and racist people on the planet.
I’m not sure he’s ever apologized for anything. He certainly didn’t for this. He’s an old timer. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Of course, it doesn’t make it right and ultimately he paid the price. And the price was right. It was time for him to go. Why it didn’t happen years ago? Timing, I think. We are currently living in a world where ‘cancel culture’ is firing on all cylinders. Everyone out there wanting to cancel anyone and everyone. In some cases it’s uncalled for but in this case it was warranted.