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Don Cherry Speaks: “I Would Have Apologized”

Don Cherry is saying he would have returned to Sportsnet on Saturday and apologized.

“I said the wrong thing,” Don Cherry told City News on Tuesday. This isn’t to say Cherry didn’t mean what he said, but unfortunately, he used the wrong phrasing.

Blaming the fact that when you’re live and you have seven minutes to get out your thoughts, sometimes you word things badly. “I thought Ron would come back and said something. He didn’t say anything.”

After the controversial segment that got Don Cherry fired from Coach’s Corner and Sportsnet, Cherry then said he left the building that night, not realizing he’d done anything wrong. It wasn’t until the next day he was made aware of how the nation took his comments.

In another interview with ET Canada, Cherry said he was disappointed with Ron MacLean’s apology:

“We’re still friends but I was very disappointed in the way he handled it. I don’t want to go in and condemn him or anything like that, but I was very disappointed.”

Since his comments, there seems to be a strong divide among viewers. Many believe Cherry was well within his right to say something. Sportsnet and MacLean felt Cherry was out of line. The network so much so, they believed he was bad for business and he was removed from a spot he’d occupied for 35 years.

Cherry said he would have apologized had he been allowed to come back this Saturday and say he was wrong. He believes that would have smoothed things over. But, he also believes that’s not what Sportsnet wanted and “that’s the way it goes.”

Related: Don Cherry Fired: Where Sports and Consideration for Others Intersect

Cherry Won’t Get the Chance To Right a Wrong

Whether you believe Cherry was right to say what he said or wrong to seemingly target immigrants, there’s not really going to be an opportunity for Cherry to right a wrong with Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada viewers.

Cherry may never really admit he was wrong in the sense that everyone should wear a poppy, but he seems to be ready to say his words should have been chosen more wisely. Those who support him will take what’s he’s saying as an apology, others won’t.

One of the sad parts in all of this, is that despite what you think of Don Cherry as a personality, he was hockey icon in Canada and it would have been nice to see him say goodbye in a way that could have been more fitting to what many people believed he brought to the sport.

Then again, some will say this is exactly what Cherry deserved as a goodbye.

Next: Calgary Flames Team News: Hamonic, Giordano, Bennett, Tkachuk, Rittich

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