Small Don Cherry rally delves beyond broadcaster's removal

Don Cherry rally

Among the group of roughly 25 to 30 people who made their way in front of Sportsnet headquarters Wednesday afternoon to show their support for Don Cherry were some genuine fans upset with his departure. 

But the atmosphere went far beyond the removal of the legendary broadcaster, to theories about pedophile rings funding the Liberals to the interpretation that Cherry was warning the public about rape gangs entering the country. 

Gerard Racine, a veteran, said he came out to show his support for Cherry and dispel the notion he's a racist, following his 'you people' comments Saturday night that led to his departure. 

"He supports the military like no other patriot Canadian I know of," he said. "I'm going to continue to wear my poppy for the rest of the month, supporting Don Cherry." 

Others said they hope he'll one day get back on the air. 

"I am a Canadian immigrant and Don Cherry for me is a legend and I didn't get offended whatsoever with what he said, because I know he means well," Paul Vanin said. 

"Without Don Cherry, it won't be the same, so I think they should rethink," he said. "We all make mistakes." 

However, many wanted to discuss topics beyond the 85-year-old, like Joe Ring's interpretation of what he thinks Cherry really meant. 

"I'm going to assume that he was talking about the rape gangs that are crossing our border," he said, referring to the 'you people' comment. 

When asked to clarify if he meant Cherry wanted rapists to wear poppies, Ring said "he was talking about people crossing the border illegally." 

"Well they're rape gangs," he added. "So Don is telling everybody, he's giving us a forewarning saying 'hey, this is coming.'"

Another man holding a Canadian flag named Robert, said the media wasn't focusing on the larger issues on the Liberal Party. 

"We do have 100 years of these guys being criminal mafia," he said, referring to the longstanding ties between the wealthy Bronfman family and the Liberals. 

One member of the family, Clare Bronfman, pleaded guilty in April to various charges about her participation in a cult organization in which women were forced to have sex with their leader, Keith Raniere of Nxivm.

There were various Red Ensign flags, Canada's former flag up until 1965, which has been adopted by white supremacist groups over the last decade and a sign that referred to the CBC as the Communist Broadcast Corporation, even though he was let go by Sportsnet. 

One skirmish occurred between an individual who was live-streaming the rally and several other protestors, but police intervened. 

Cherry made the media rounds Monday and Tuesday, in which he's admitted he could've used different words and would've apologized. 

But he's also said what he wanted to say wasn't enough for Sportsnet. 

"I definitely would've been back, there's no doubt about it," he told NEWSTALK1010 Monday night. "But I think the people, if I had to come back as a simp, not come back as myself, I'd have been disappointed in myself."