Don Cherry is a staple in Canadian sports culture and history. Millions of Canadians have tuned in to watch him on Coach’s Corner every Saturday night.
Whether it was his flashy suits or his characteristic attitude, Grapes holds a dear place in the hearts of many Canadians across the country.
People all over social media expressed outrage after hearing that he was fired for simply asking everyone to honour our veterans by wearing a poppy.
In memory of Cherry’s contribution to Canadian culture and sports history, True North has compiled seven Don Cherry moments that brought us all together as a country.
If you support Don Cherry and believe that our Canadian heroes deserve to be honoured as much as possible, make sure to sign our petition here to voice your support!
Remembered the memory of the Humboldt Broncos
Shortly after the tragic bus crash that led to the death and injury of dozens of young Humboldt Broncos hockey players, Cherry dedicated a segment to the memory of each and every player on the team.
“There are no words to describe what has happened here,” said Cherry.
“They’re a team and we’re going to show them all as a team and let’s have a little prayer for them.”
Kissed the first Muslim player drafted by the Maple Leafs on air
Nazem Kadri was the first Muslim player ever to be drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the Leafs won, Cherry invited a few of the players to the Coach’s Corner studio and Cherry planted a big kiss on the Kadri’s cheek.
“I don’t hate it. I don’t hate it,” said Kadri after the warmhearted interaction.
Commemorated Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie
In 2017, Cherry dedicated his segment to his personal friend and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, who had recently passed away.
“I know Gordie, and there we are, what a guy Gordie was god love him,” says Cherry.
During the show, Cherry reminisces and tells stories about how Downie including Cherry’s cameo in the video “The Darkest One” where he delivers chicken to the band and then gets in a fight with the Trailer Park Boys.
Paid tribute to Canadian soldiers targeted in terror attacks
In 2014, when two Canadian soldiers, Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent were killed in separate terror attacks within days of each other, Don Cherry paid respect to the fallen during his segment.
On the show, Cherry praised the heroic efforts of the two and highlighted how they had dedicated their lives in service for Canada.
“Help the wounded, help the guys that are trying to get jobs, help people like that,” said Cherry calling on Canadians to donate and help wounded veterans.
Paid his respects to two teen hockey players who had passed away
In 2018, Cherry ended his segment by paying his respects to 17-year-old Red Deer hockey player Ryan McBeath who was killed in a car crash and Roy Pejcinovski who was killed in a triple homicide in Ajax.
“This here is one of the toughest weeks of all,” said Cherry before tearing up to photos of the two teens.
Cherry visits troops in Afghanistan
In 2011, Don Cherry visited troops deployed in Afghanistan with the Defence Minister at the time, Peter McKay, where he signed jerseys and took photos with soldiers.
“I’ll tell you, boy, they were the greatest guys,” said Cherry regarding the armed forces.
He visited a young Boston Bruins fan whose father had recently died
On New Year’s Day in 2011, Cherry visited the Yukon home of a young hockey fan whose father had recently passed away.
“This is from the captain of the Boston Bruins,” says Cherry as he hands the boy a jersey signed by the team’s captain.
“Thank you very much for being such a Boston Bruins fan. You keep going and someday I might see you in the National Hockey League.”