Boston Bruins’ legendary defenseman Bobby Orr is sticking up for Don Cherry after Cherry was fired by Rogers Sportsnet on Remembrance Day following controversial comments he made on Coach’s Corner.
Cherry was fired by Rogers Sportsnet on Monday for calling Canadian immigrants “You people” and complaining about them not paying for poppies to support soldiers that fought in the war.
“I live in Mississauga. Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. Now you go to the small cities. You people . . . that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that, ” Cherry said during his weekly segment. “These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.”
Cherry has received an overwhelming amount of support since the firing. Over 200,000 people have signed a petition to bring Don Cherry back to Hockey Night in Canada.
Cherry has received support from numerous hockey players, including most notably, ex-Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr. The 71-year-old is considered the greatest defenseman to ever play the game.
Orr is the only defenseman in NHL history to have won the Art Ross Trophy and holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenseman. Orr won a record eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 at age 31.
Orr went on the Boston radio station WEEI 93.7 FM on Thursday to stick up for his longtime friend Don Cherry. Orr didn’t hold back when talking to hosts Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria about Don Cherry being fired.
“I know Grapes better than anybody,” Orr told WEEI. “He’s not a bigot and he’s not a racist. This guy is the most generous, caring guy that I know.”
“What they’ve done to him up there is disgraceful. It really is.”
Bobby Orr on Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerDC) fired from Sportsnet:
"I know Grapes better than anyone. He's not a bigot and he's not a racist"@GlennDOrdway @LouMerloni @christianfauria pic.twitter.com/UfesH0zscC
— OMF (@OMFonWEEI) November 14, 2019
Cherry considers Orr the greatest hockey player who ever lived. Cherry was briefly Orr’s head coach with the Bruins and covered Orr throughout his early broadcasting days.
Cherry interviewed Orr several times on the CBC, including two interviews which are available to view on YouTube.
Given how controversial the firing of Don Cherry has been, Orr likely won’t be the last well-known NHL name to come to Cherry’s defense.