Humboldt Broncos family blacklists CTV over Jess Allen ‘white boy’ comments
As the online debate regarding the comments of Don Cherry and subsequential comments made by CTV’s The Social host Jess Allen regarding hockey continues on, one family in Canada has decided to blacklist CTV News.
Tom Straschnitzki, the father of Humboldt Broncos junior hockey player and bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki, tweeted his feelings regarding the matter, and he did not mince words.
“Unless CTV does the right thing. The Straz Clan is done with interviews with CTV. If Don Cherry gets fired for saying You People and not calling out race and this tard Called a Race out and still working. We done with CTV,”
The response is the latest part of an ongoing saga with Allen and Canada’s hockey community. The drama began when Allen stated her opinion the firing of longtime Hockey Night In Canada broadcaster Don Cherry,
“I’m told he’s a Canadian icon, and he’s a symbol of the great sport of hockey, which is the sport that unites us across this country, and that narrative is the one that strikes a nerve with me, because I don’t worship at the altar of hockey, I never have,” said Allen, going on to say that hockey players she had experienced growing up around “all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful, they were often bullies.”
Those comments triggered a tsunami of tweets, as upset hockey moms and dads unleashed their anger at Allen.
Following this, Allen attempted to clarify her statement. First, on Twitter, saying “I never said every white boy, just the ones whose unsavoury behaviour, which didn’t feel very Canadian, I witnessed. Because of this, I am guilty of having conflicted feelings about hockey being so closely linked to our national identity.”
Another attempt to clarify her statements came in the next day’s episode of The Social, where Allen stated the following:
“It turns out I struck a nerve with many people when I spoke of personal experiences with specific people who were hockey players — white, not typically kind or thoughtful, and typically bullies, from affluent families. I wish these experiences didn’t happen, and they no way negate the positive experiences that millions in this country have had with hockey,” said Allen.
This did all but fan the flames, as Twitter hashtags #FireJessAllen and #FireJessicaAllen both trended on the platform for the better part of Thursday. With her second apology falling flat, Allen again took to Twitter for her third clarification, this time releasing a statement.
“I do have regrets. I regret saying that my experiences were ‘personal’ instead of underlining that they were specific episodes from determined moments with particular individuals. As a result, I offended many people. Not just our viewers, but parents, children, coaches, volunteers, and hockey families everywhere. To you, I apologize.
As outrage continued online, CTV finally released a statement on the matter, acknowledging the calls for Allen’s job.
“Jessica Allen’s comments about hockey have generated an extraordinary response. We’ve been touched by the stories we’ve heard from Canadians everywhere, including fmailies from Humboldt, about what the game means to them,” read the statement.
“We would like to apologize to everyone who was offended by the remarks, and let you know your feedback sparked so much debate and introspection at The Social and CTV. We won’t restrict our hosts from offering their opinions on an opinion show, but we’ll always listen to viewers when they offer theirs,” confirming that the calls for Allen’s firing won’t have any effect.
Amongst those upset by CTV’s response was retired NHL star Theo Fleury, stating that it was “unacceptable” that Allen still had a job as a correspondant.
Don Cherry’s name has been taken off of the Western Hockey League’s “Suits up” fundraising project. On Friday night the Edmonton Oil Kings held an event that has previously been advertised with his name.
For the two previous seasons, the event was called “Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation.”
CTV News reported that this year they have changed the name to “Suits Up to Promote Organ Donation.” This will be the wording for the game between the Oil Kings and the Prince Albert Raiders on January 17
For the promotion, the players trade their regular jerseys for suit-themed ones that resemble the suits Don Cherry is famous for wearing during Hockey Night in Canada.
Cherry was recently fired from the program for his controversial comments regarding people not wearing poppies.
He said, “You people … that come here, whatever it is, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Cherry also made an announcement letting people know that he will not be coaching the Canadian Hockey League prospects game. The game is an annual event that Cherry has been involved in since 1996 along with his good friend and hockey legend—Bobby Orr.
The WHL has 17 “Suits up” games being played from January to March. The games help fund the Kidney Foundation of Canada. In the first two years of the events, they have raised close to $500,000 for the charity.
According to a new report from the Toronto Sun’s Brian Lilley, the ratings for Hockey Night in Canada have declined sharply since the firing of Canadian icon Don Cherry.
Lilley writes, “in the two weeks following Cherry’s dismissal the eastern broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada failed to make the Top 30 TV shows ranked by Numeris.
That means the premier hockey game in Canada failed to draw as many viewers as NCIS: New Orleans, one of two NCIS shows in the top 30.
It also failed to replace Chicago Fire and Chicago Med.”
Lilley pointed out that “the most recent ratings available show Hockey Night in Canada down more than half a million viewers from their peak earlier this year. The December 13 main game drew just 810,000 viewers compared to 983,000 for the same weekend in 2018.”
The Numeris numbers are as follows:
October 5: 1247
October 12: 1364
October 19: 1150
October 26: 1102
November 2: 989
November 9: 1027
November 30: 1053
December 7: 822
December 14: 810
in a wildly unpopular move, Sportsnet fired Cherry on Remembrance Day after he criticized new Canadians for not wearing the poppy to honour veterans.
Cherry has since launched his own podcast that is one of the most popular in Canada.
Cherry wrapped up another edition of his podcast Grapevine 2.0 Monday. His son Tim was alongside him and they talked all things hockey, until towards the end when Cherry got a little wistful about his time as the nation’s Saturday night coach. Cherry began to reminisce about his days at Coach’s Corner near the end of the podcast, and how he misses it.
“Well Tim, it’s been seven weeks since I was let go, well let’s say let go [from Coach’s Corner] and a lot of people ask me do you miss it? And I say, ‘Well if you do something for close to 40 years of course you miss it. I thought I was gonna go on and do it forever. And you know, it was fun this year. I was on a roll. I really felt good this year. And to be honest with you, I do miss it on Saturday nights.”
Cherry went on to show his gratitude for his coworkers, highlighting some of the staff working behind the camera, “And I miss a lot of the people. I miss Sully, who was one of the camera men, we used to sit there after and work on it, make it look good. I miss Andrew, the lighting guy. I think Barbaba Walter’s said it best when she said, “I’ll last as long as the lighting guy is good[laughs]. Andrew did a good job, he learned from Tony.”
Cherry did not mention his former co-host, Ron MacLean, who he previously said he was disappointed in after MacLean apologized for not intervening live on air to Cherry’s “you people” comment. Many fans of the show said it was a betrayal of MacLean to not stick up for his co-host of over 30 years, instead caving to the outrage mob on social media.
“Cathy used to do Coach’s Corner, I don’t know what I’d do without her and Kevin, the floor director, I mean… Stanley, the stat guy and Lilley, did the make up and you know.”
“A lot of people think you know, are you bitter? I’m not bitter… it was time to go. They did their thing and I had to do my thing. I’m not bitter about the whole thing at all. Time to go. But I do miss it.”
Cherry’s Grapevine 2.0 remains one of the most listened to podcasts in Canada, at one point beating Joe Rogan’s podcast for top spot in the country.
We’ve made it, Canada! After a long and admittedly exhausting year, we can put all things behind us as we set our sights on 2020!
2019 was a fairly eventful year for Canada, as we all know. Whether it was the buzzing election, the electrifying year of sports, or headlines made by celebrities and public figures, it’s fair to say Canada had its share of winners and losers. So here is our year-end list of the five greatest losers of 2019!
5. Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier, the longtime Conservative Party MP for the Quebec riding of Beauce, has had a fairly interesting year—one that’s been well documented in the public eye. After losing the bid for Conservative party leadership in 2017, Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada, giving right-wing voters an alternative to the tradition conservatism they were familiar with.
Well, that did not work out well for Bernier, as he lost his party’s only seat in a landslide to Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux.
Projections had Bernier in a comfortable lead. The loss leaves his party unrepresented in the House, and for that, Bernier has earned a spot on this list.
4. Rachel McKinnon
Dr. Rachel McKinnon, philosophy professor, cyclist, trans woman, came to fame in 2018 when she made history by being the first trans athlete to win the women’s 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships.
McKinnon is a vocal trans advocate who has spoken out in favour of trans women competing in women’s sports, has physically dominated biological women in her own sport of cycling, and, in 2019 took to Twitter to pen endless threads against the so-called “cotton ceiling,” the final barrier preventing trans women from being equally accepted.
3. Ron MacLean
Most of the nation mourned when the beloved Don Cherry was axed from his position at Hockey Night in Canada. The legendary sports broadcaster, whose career spanned over three decades, was cut over “controversial” comments made about the poppy.
Even Ron MacLean, who sat beside Cherry for many years and during those controversial poppy statements, nodded along to Cherry, which is probably why so many feel as though he threw Don under the bus.
MacLean attempted to explain why Grapes was fired, though watching Ron without Don next to him felt wrong to a nation so used to seeing the duo on their screen at once.
“There were steps that needed to be taken after what he said, and he didn’t want to take those steps,” said MacLean between the first and second period of the first Saturday night NHL game after Cherry’s firing.
“I sat all week long reflecting, listening to you, and I have heard you. I mean you the viewer. I’ve reflected by listening to my own heart. I’ve struggled mightily to find the words, and I’m not sure I even have them now. But they say it’s a good thing because when you can find the words it’s dead in your heart. And it’s not dead in my heart,” said MacLean in the intermission which some commented on seemed like a eulogy at a funeral.
Throwing someone under the bus is never cool. Throwing someone under the bus who helped save your career on multiple instances like Cherry did to MacLean? Nearly unforgivable, in Canada’s books.
2. Jessica Yaniv
In terms of skyrocketing from someone who was completely unknown to the general public, all the way to being public enemy number one within the span of only a few months, few can claim they’d done it better than Jessica Yaniv.
For those somehow still unfamiliar with Yaniv, her case made international headlines after news broke that Yaniv, who is a biological male and has male genitalia, sought out immigrant-own salons, attempting them to force women to wax her scrotum.
The public was immediately against her, and it just got worse for Yaniv from there. While her case was going viral, Yaniv appeared on TPM contributor and YouTube star Blaire White’s live stream to discuss allegations of sexually predatory behaviour from Yaniv towards minors. During that stream, Yaniv revealed that she had a stun gun, an illegal weapon and Canada, to which she was eventually charged.
1. Jessica Allen
Though most felt as though the firing of Don Cherry was unjust, Jess Allen from CTV’s The Social decided to rock the boat by lambasting Cherry and the importance that hockey has to Canadians.
“I’m told he’s a Canadian icon, and he’s a symbol of the great sport of hockey, which is the sport that unites us across this country, and that narrative is the one that strikes a nerve with me, because I don’t worship at the altar of hockey, I never have,” said Allen.
“Maybe it’s because of where I grew up, and going to a couple different universities. In my mind, in my experience, who does. They all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful they were often bullies, their parents were able to afford to spend $5000 a year on minor hockey. You could do other things than spend time in an arena, you could go on a trip and learn about the world. See other things. The world is a big place, maybe get outside of that bubble.”
For those comments, Allen was ridiculed online. And for that, Allen lands on our list of biggest losers of 2019.