#FireJessAllen trends again on Twitter as The Social host who called hockey players ‘white boys’, ‘bullies’ clarifies
Comments made on an episode of CTV’s The Social yesterday have received heavy online backlash following comments made by one of their correspondents regarding Don Cherry’s firing, though the centre of the controversy has clarified some of her statements.
Former Maclean’s magazine editor and TV talk show co-host Jessica Allen was at the receiving end of plenty of online backlash following comments made about Don Cherry, and the “altar of hockey” which Canada worships, going on to say that the “white boy” hockey players could have used their parents’ money to instead, travel the world.
“You people” were supposed to be Cherry’s last words but they weren’t.
Once again, cancel culture missed the mark.
Mainstream media still hasn’t gotten the memo that podcasting will eventually be their demise. If you got fired for something you said on a network twenty years ago you were pretty much out of options for reaching the public on a mass scale after that.
Twenty years ago, people weren’t getting fired for misspeaking or a controversial opinion so it wasn’t a big issue. These days, everybody on a network starts out on thin ice and there they stay. What is interesting, however, is that as the networks continue to tighten up their leashes the technology for an open and honest dialogue is expanding. Anybody can start a professional sounding podcast for no more than a couple hundred dollars. It’s a one time fee and you’re set for life.
So it’s no surprise that the canning of Cherry from Sportsnet won’t be the last time his fans will get to hear from him. The downside of Cherry’s new podcast is that there is no video to see him in his flambuoyant suits and it’s missing his once-loyal sidekick, Ron MacLean.
That being said, the podcast feels like you are in the living room with Grapes. So at a moment in time when the mainstream media would have you believe that Cherry is just a loud, obnoxious one-trick pony, listeners are actually now getting a calm, lucid and sentimental Don. He talks with his son and daughter on the podcast about all things hockey.
The first podcast saw Cherry briefly address the firing but he didn’t seem bitter about it, “when one door closes, another opens,” he said. Then it was back to hockey. Cherry shared an old interview between himself and the man of hockey folklore – Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.
In another episode, Cherry recounts his dog, Blue, getting into it with a skunk and having to wash out the stench with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, then it was back to discussing hockey.
One can only suspect that Cherry, 85, is going to put more money into the podcast and get a small studio up and running. There’s no shortage of legendary players both past and present who would want to be guests on Grapevine 2.0.
If Ron MacLean remains a good boy perhaps Sportsnet will even let him go on as a guest one of these days. And why wouldn’t they? Grapevine 2.0 was the number one podcast in the country two weeks ago, beating out the Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan’s podcast averages approximately a billion downloads annually so it’s no small feat to top him in Canada, if only momentarily.
Grapevine 2.0 has remained in the top ten streamed podcasts in Canada since its inception. I guess some people still really like Cherry after all.
It began with Grapes but the end is uncertain. Don Cherry’s now infamous “You People” rant was the match that lit the fire.
The Social’s Jessica Allen took Cherry’s comments and ran regaling us with memories of her formative years and how those stories can be applied to all hockey players across the country and fans of the game alike.
Akim Aliu, a Nigerian-born NHL player, came out against former coach Bill Peters recently. Talking via social media about an incident where Peters used racial epithets a decade earlier while he was playing for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. Since the post, many other former players of Peters have come forward as well with stories of his unprofessional conduct and controversial coaching style. Peters stepped down Friday as coach of the Calgary Flames.
Daniel Carcillo is leading a twitter brigade against abuse within the organizations of Hockey Canada and the NHL. He has been encouraging other players to do the same and they haven’t wasted any time. Dozens of former players from the NHL, OHL, WHL and minor league have come forward with similar stories of abuse. The University of Lethbridge has had six female hockey players make a formal complaint with the University’s human resources department asking for their coach Michelle Janus to be fired for several instances of bullying, although the details remain unclear. So far the university has decided to keep Janus as Coach of the school team.
Several former players have come out against the Sutter family as well, including Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich and Ron. The entire family all played at one time in the NHL before moving on to team management or becoming coaches themselves. One player has suggested that this has given the Sutter boys almost a Royal Family status amongst the NHL and Hockey Canada, and that has made them extremely powerful so no one has had their voice heard up to this point or dared to speak up. The Sutters have not yet made a comment on the (at this point) vague allegations.
The complaints against some individuals in the professional hockey world have ranged from sexual and physical abuse to hazing and underage drinking.
Rookie parties have come under fire as a haven for toxic behaviour. Carcillo posted a photo from an alleged rookie party where the rookies were forced to wear dresses and drink alcohol while some were still underage. The faces of the players have been blurred out, leaving only their beer toting, dress wearing bodies.
To me, the photo looks suspect. The erased faces could be to protect the identity of the players posing, it may also be to conceal any expressions of amusement, one can’t say for sure.
I played hockey until I was about twelve years old and then quit because that is about the time it all starts to get very serious. I can’t speak first hand about such experiences so it’s hard for me to determine whose side I’m on in all of this. I’m sure the incidents range from a tyrannical, abusive coaches to hypersensitive players upset about the typical masculine and jocular behaviour of jocks. My gut tells me both, and that many heads are about to roll, some that should and some that shouldn’t.
I just hope we won’t all lose our heads in the process and crucify the innocent.
‘Tis the season of the witch hunt and in the era of social media, the concept of dealing with things on a case by case basis seems to be a difficult task to ask of the average Twitter user, who instead make everything black and white.
Time will tell just what’s in store for the nation’s favourite past time.
Social justice has come for the NHL. And Ron MacLean, fresh off of throwing his broadcasting partner and better half Don Cherry under the bus, has bought in 100%.
During the intermission of Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday on Sportsnet, MacLean addressed his guests, Kwame Mason and Tara Slone:
“I said to Kwame, I don’t see you as black, I don’t see Tara as a woman. And then I realized, ‘There’s your white male privilege. You know what, Ron? You don’t have to see that because you don’t need to see that.'”
He then went on to apologize for not having enough people of colour pick the three stars on Hockey Night in Canada and for the structural racism and sexism of hockey. You can watch the clip here:
Of course, the ironic thing is that Ron MacLean’s original way of viewing Mason or Sloane was correct. He didn’t see Mason as a black man and he didn’t see Sloane as a woman. He saw them both as fellow human beings.
Now, he has been re-educated (so that he may keep his job) to only see them for the minority groups they represent. This is objectively more racist and sexist, but it’s the kind of racism and sexism that social justice demands. Ron MacLean is now safe.
The social panic sweeping over hockey started with the debacle of Don Cherry’s firing from Sportsnet for saying “you people” in reference to immigrants who don’t wear the poppy (an incident that he was willing to clarify and apologize for).
More recently, Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters was fired for uttering the N-word to a player many years ago as an assistant coach for another team. Whether Peters should have been fired, fined, or otherwise sanctioned after his apology is a matter up for debate. Certainly, people have said and done worse and kept their jobs, but the trudge toward progress made any such nuanced discussion impossible.
Since these incidents, far-left Canadian pundits such as Jess Allen and Nora Loreto have claimed that hockey is inherently racist or white supremacist. Allen claimed that hockey players were “white boys” and “bullies” while Loreto proclaimed in a boastful tweet that hockey leads to “white supremacy and misogyny.”
Take note. This is how social justice movements always work. They take individual instances of inappropriateness or intolerance (or even something as mild as a misunderstanding) and they apply those instances to an entire culture and claim that the community must be fixed at any cost. Of course, this means consultants, specialists, diversity trainers, federal assistance and a whole lot of hand wringing.
It doesn’t seem to matter to these crusaders who want to clean the culture that Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of our hockey-loving country, has been the centre of racist incidents more times than he can even remember.
No reasonable person could say that Bill Peters was more racist than our prime minister. But you see, Trudeau’s past racism is different because he’s on the social justice team! He can lead the nation forward by helping us have these difficult conversations and recognizing. These big bad hockey coaches and players on the other hand, well, they must be punished and banished from the culture because of toxic masculinity and systemic hetero white something something.
We’ve already seen the panic hit social media, with former NHLer Daniel Carcillo attempting to create McCarthyite blacklists of other professional coaches based on rumours:
It’s only going to get worse. But before the entire hockey community drops their sticks in favour of pitchforks, I would like to suggest that the progressivist push to name, shame, and force every “community member” to grovel and pledge their allegiance to intersectionality is not the answer. If hockey continues down this path, it will lose fans and revenue.
Like any culture, hockey has its problems. But those problems are caused by individual human beings. If a coach, player, or fan is acting in a racist or sexist manner, then they should be held accountable as individuals. And matters such as these should be adjudicated between the parties who were actually involved in the behaviour.
The shift from individual responsibility to collective guilt is where things skate downhill real fast. Grievance Studies scholar James Lindsay spotted it right away and quite aptly quipped, “LOL RIP hockey”:
This will not end well. Whether it’s the world of music, comedy, film, or professional sports, social justice crusades lead to nothing but division. If the NHL continues to get woke, it will most definitely go broke.
It was inevitable.
A big story about hockey.
A horrifically bad take by Nora Loreto.
Loreto is the notorious activist best known for one of the most-ratioed tweets of all time in Canada following the Humboldt Broncos tragic crash:
“I’m trying to not get cynical about what is a totally devastating tragedy but the maleness, the youthfulness and the whiteness of the victims are, of course, playing a significant role.”
Now, Loreto is back with yet another garbage take in the wake of the Don Cherry situation:
“Question: why is Hockey Culture the front line of Canada’s culture wars?
It’s because hockey is the most intense location where we form the white supremacy and misogyny on which Canada’s entire system is built and maintained.”
At this point, it’s almost like Loreto is trying to be a caricature of far-left sentiment, which ironically is quite effective at gaining attention (as shown by the fact that I’m writing about it here).
Yet, it’s instructive to note that there is a certain (small) small segment of the country that actually believes that stuff.
They actually think hockey is about “white supremacy” and “misogyny.”
Of course, believing that requires somehow ignoring the fact that hockey often brings people of different backgrounds together to wear the same uniform, push towards the same goal, and feel a common identity, which is among the best ways to reduce racism and promote understanding.
And considering that women’s hockey is an incredibly popular and growing sport in Canada and that Canadians have been repeatedly brought together by cheering on our Canadian Women’s Olympic team, it takes a truly stunning level of ignorance to believe that hockey is about “misogyny.”
But ignorance is what the far-left is all about, and they seem to enjoy trying to tear down everything that Canadians like while promoting everything that isn’t Canadian.
For example, the far-left has endless bad things to say about Canada’s “values,” yet rarely—if ever—criticizes Communist China or any of the countries that actually commit horrific human rights abuses. Instead, they seek to divide our nation, turn Canadians against each other, denigrate our traditions, and wipe away our history.
Loreto has the right to her opinions (even if in my opinion they are total trash), and people have the right to disagree with her. That said, the vast silent majority of Canadians will need to start speaking out more and more, in order to stop the small (but loud) far-left from further influencing the direction of our nation with their unhinged insanity.