Less than two weeks after he was fired from Coach's Corner, Don Cherry is returning to the airwaves in another form.
According to Toronto Sun writer Joe Warmington, Cherry will be hosting a podcast, the first of which is being released today (Tuesday). Narcity is reporting the podcast will be available for download on Spotify on Nov. 19.
“You read it right: Don Cherry and his no-holds-barred views are coming back on the air,” Warmington wrote.
An unapologetic supporter of the former Boston Bruins coach, Warmington said in the piece that the comments that got Cherry fired from Sportsnet were “misunderstood” as racist.
“Cherry wanted his opportunity to properly explain it,” he writes. “Now he is going to get that chance.”
On the final Coach's Corner on Nov. 9, Cherry said he was upset that more people don't wear poppies, and appeared to single out immigrants as people who “love our way of life” but don't honour the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers.
“You people ... love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”
Last Saturday, Cherry's longtime co-host Ron MacLean was emotional in talking about the incident, saying he thought about resigning, but said that would send wrong message.
“I do that, I infer what happened was right somehow or that I’m going along to get along, or that I’m just going to sit silently by or be a bystander again in a situation and it just took the courage,” MacLean said. “Don taught me to stand, so I had to have the courage of my convictions.”
He added there were “steps that needed to be taken because of what had been said by Don,” but Cherry “didn’t want to do those steps.”
While refusing to apologize, Cherry later told the Canadian Press he did not single out minorities or immigrants with his comments.
“I did not say minorities, I did not say immigrants. If you watch ‘Coach’s Corner,’ I did not say that. I said, ‘Everybody.’ And I said, ‘You people,’” he said. “Irish, Scotch, anybody that’s newcomers to Canada, and they should wear a poppy to honour our dead from the past, whether they’re Scotch or Irish or English, or where they come from.”
According to the Warmington piece, after the first podcast in which he'll address his firing, a new one will be released each Monday during the hockey season. His co-hosts will be his son, Tim, and his grandson Del.
Entitled The Grapevine (the same title Cherry used for a show he hosted in the 1980s and early 1990s), if it's a hit and attracts sponsors, Tim Cherry told Warmington it could become a weekly video feature. And while Coach's Corner was limited to seven minutes, the first podcast runs half an hour.