a newly formed Vancouver-based group called Hockey Fans for Peace are hoping to challenge Don Cherry to a debate over his promotion of militarism during his Coaches Corner segment on CBCs Hockey Night in Canada.
This Saturday, the group is planning to kick start the process by rallying outside the CBCs broadcast of the Vancouver Canucks game against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver to show that hockey fans have a right to speak out against Canada's involvement in the Afghanistan war.
The groups spokesman Kimball Cariou said the group wants CBC to either stop allowing Cherry to continue using his segment to promote the war or else allow one of its members to debate him during his own segment.
But CBC spokesman Jeff Keay doesn’t agree that Cherry is promoting the war in Afghanistan and militarism every week on Coach’s Corner.
“I mean, Don does offer remembrances of soldiers who are killed as well as police officers and firefighters that are casualties,” said Keay. “We really don’t have a problem with that.”
Kaey said he also doesn’t foresee allowing anyone to challenge Cherry’s views on the war in Afghanistan.
“I wouldn’t say that’s a forum for that kind of debate, so I really don’t see that happening.”
When I first heard of this group I was angry but then I thought to myself, our veterans gave us all freedom of speech so these people do have the right to speak out if they wish. I was reminded of when a Parent Teacher Association board that voted against school children being allowed to send letters to troops as that promoted the war.
Having watched hockey for as long as I can remember including Coaches Corner you can tell how much he cares about our men and women serving and when we sadly lose a soldier overseas he'll take the last few seconds of his weekly broadcast to show their photo and send out his thoughts to the soldiers family.
I posted a Facebook status about this and will share a few comments from friends:
"We as a people must be on constant guard of our right to free speech for without it we would not know who the a**holes are. I have looked at the site Hockey Fans For Peace and that was a total waste of my time, but thank God they have the right to do what they do!!!!!" - Ken A.
"As someone from Vancouver and Serving in Afghanistan, this guy makes me sick. I met Don Cherry when he was here on Christmas and I wasnt a huge fan of him before but after talking with him, I have found a new respect for him. Kimball is allowed to have his opinions but he should get his facts straight first" -Chris M.
"It takes a truly ignorant person to not distinguish the difference between Supporting our Troops and propagating in favour of war. Its painfully obvious to any normal thinking person. You support the troops because they are away from their families and homes, fighting a war for their country and those they leave behind. You want them to know they are appreciated and missed and in our thoughts... I dont see how that can be misinterpreted as right wing pro war propaganda." - Tony D.
I think Don Cherry is a great supporter of our men and women serving all over the world and I hope he continues to do what he does best.