Don Cherry poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, March 10, 2014 . Don Cherry says he isn’t moving on from "Coach’s Corner" just yet. The colourful and often outspoken Cherry immediately took to social media to state he was told by his bosses at Sportsnet that he’d be returning next season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Don Cherry poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, March 10, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Parksville residents react to Don Cherry’s firing

Opinions mixed on if he should have been fired from Hockey Night in Canada

Parksville-area Legion members reacted with a variety of opinions to the recent news of longtime television icon Don Cherry’s firing.

Cherry, known for being outspoken during his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada, was fired by Sportsnet this week, after comments about new immigrants not wearing poppies.

Parksville’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49 Mount Arrowsmith member James O’Connor said although he doesn’t think what Cherry said was right, he doesn’t think he should have been fired for the comments.

“Whether you agree or disagree with what he said, I disagree with it myself, but he has a right to say it surely,” he said. “It’s just free speech, that’s all.”

Barry Knowles and Don Levesque’s opinions differed — they both said they thought his firing was just.

“I was watching the game and I, like others, didn’t quite get it until I thought about it a little later on and of course it was definitely inappropriate,” said Knowles. “There was a lot of immigrants who served overseas in the war, I mean they served and died for Canada.”

Levesque said Cherry refusing to apologize is a big part of the problem for him.

“It would have been OK if he had apologized afterwards,” said Levesque. “I think he should have been severely reprimanded and fired.”

READ MORE: Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

The Royal Canadian Legion reacted to Cherry’s firing on Twitter on Nov. 11, calling Cherry’s comments “hurtful, divisive and in no way condoned by Legions.”

“We do remain appreciative of his passionate support for veterans,” the tweet went on to say.

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