Iconic Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry said the "silent majority" as well as armed service members and first responders support him amid his firing for on-air remarks critical of immigrants who don't acknowledge veterans.
"The silent majority, as you know, are always silent," the 85-year-old told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night. "The police are with me. The [Canadian Armed] Forces are with me. Everybody's with me, and the firefighters, the whole deal."
He added to Carlson that while his firing after 38 years with Sportsnet "doesn't make any sense," he's not backing down at all: "I stand by what I said, and I still mean it."
What did Cherry say?
Cherry over the weekend blasted those who don't wear poppies for Canada's Remembrance Day — Nov. 11 — to honor veterans. Poppies were inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields," in which the author, John McCrae, writes of the poppies in the field where soldiers died.
"I live in Mississauga [Ontario] ... very few people wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it ... nobody wears the poppy," he said, adding that "you people ... that come here, whatever it is, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that."
CTV, Canada's main news network, said so many complaints rolled in over Cherry's remarks that the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council could no longer accept formal complaints, the Boston Globe reported.
Sportsnet released a statement saying, "Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night's broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for."
Cherry noted to Carlson that "the one thing that got me was 'you people.' And I suppose if I had it to do over again, I would have said 'everybody.' But 'you people' are the people that they listen to."
He added that "people are very sensitive like that."
Carlson shot back telling Cherry that "they're not sensitive at all, they're fascist. They actually have no real feelings. They're faking their outrage. They're trying to crush you because they want to exert power because it makes them feel big when actually inside they're small. … Did you mean to say something hateful?"
"No, I didn't," Cherry replied, adding that "we're all immigrants."
Don Cherry on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" youtu.be
'I cannot be turned into a tamed robot'
The outspoken commentator added to the Toronto Sun that "to keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot" and that "I would have liked to continue doing Coach's Corner. The problem is if I have to watch everything I say, it isn't Coach's Corner."
RebelNews launched an online petition in support of Cherry that's garnered over 76,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.