Cherry's stance is not CBC's

The CBC issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying it did not agree with Coach's Corner star Don...

The CBC issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying it did not agree with Coach's Corner star Don Cherry's take on fighting and head shots in hockey.

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:07 PM ET

TORONTO - Count Don Cherry’s employers among those who do not agree with the controversial analyst’s take on violence in the game.

Less than 48 hours after Cherry blasted the National Hockey League for it’s perceived attempts to take hitting and fisticuffs out of the game, the CBC issued a release early Saturday afternoon offering up its stance on those subjects. The network even went so far as to admit it spoke to the league’s head office about the subject.

“Recent comments made by Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada's Coach’s Corner regarding headshots and fighting in professional hockey have been the subject of considerable debate. I wish to clarify, in no uncertain terms, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s position on this issue,” said the statement from Kirstine Stewart, CBC’s executive vice-president of English Services.

“Don’s comments reflect his own personal opinion. While we support his right to voice that opinion, we do not share his position. Player safety is a top priority for CBC, and we support the initiatives of the NHL and others in keeping players safe on and off the ice.

“Yesterday, I spoke personally with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. In that conversation, as in this statement, I reiterated our shared commitment to player safety at all levels of the game.”

Cherry told the Toronto Sun on Friday that the only regret he had concerning his highly-publicized Coach’s Corner segment on Thursday was that he referred to former NHL enforcers Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thomson as “pukes.”

“There are kids watching and that’s not an appropriate word,” Cherry said. “That’s the only thing I would do over again.”

Perhaps CBC doesn’t agree with Cherry’s stance. But you can bet you won’t hear any whining from their executives when the ratings go through the roof for Saturday night’s edition of Coach’s Corner, a direct result of the public anticipation of Cherry’s reaction to the firestorm his Thursday comments created.


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