Blog Entry

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 11:26 am

By Brian Stubits

If you had no litigation in the Don Cherry lawsuit odds, you have won some easy money.

The trio of Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson released a statement on Sunday that they have accepted Don Cherry's apology that he gave Saturday night during his weekly Coach's Corner segment on the CBC.

The ex-players who Cherry called hypocrites, turncoats and pukes in his season-opening Coach's Corner, said that they "appreciate the words Mr. Cherry used and that the apology is accepted." The statement concluded with the men saying there would be no legal action to follow, a threat that was made before Cherry's apology.

"Messrs. Grimson, Nilan and Thomson wish to state that they do not intend to pursue [legal] recourse, as a group."

In his own, ummm, Tweetment, Nilan said he was satisfied and that Cherry and him are friends once again.

But that wasn't it for the statements. Grimson, who now works as an attorney, had some peace to say before calling the matter over. He released a separate statement and we'll just share it in its entirety.

"I saw Don Cherry's comments on Saturday night and I need to make just a few points as this matter comes to a close. First, I appreciate the words Mr. Cherry used; I accept his apology. As far as I'm concerned, this disagreement is now settled as between Mr. Cherry and me.

"Second, there has been widespread speculation about whether our group will seek legal recourse as a result of Mr. Cherry's comments. We believed it was prudent to consider that path initially, given the words that Mr. Cherry used on a national broadcast to describe us. Having said that, I want to make clear that I have no present intention of pursuing a cause of action against Mr. Cherry.

"Third, in spite of my earlier comments on this matter, Ron McLean appears to be missing the point, even at this late date. Mr. McLean is presently saying at least two things on this issue. 'We got bad information from another former player ... I didn't see any trouble with what Don said.'

"Look, Don got his facts wrong. That's fine; he apologized for it and the matter is settled. But the bigger issue remains. This isn't about the accuracy of the information. This isn't about whether Mr. Cherry should have checked his facts. This isn't about whether Stu Grimson is against fighting or for it. This is about the words Mr. Cherry chose and the way he chose to express them.

"And let's not forget the context; Ron & Don waded into a very sensitive prominent discussion about the recent tragic deaths of Derek Boogaard(notes), Rick Rypien(notes) and my friend, Wade Belak(notes). These are three men that battled the demons and they lost. In offering his opinion on this issue, Mr. Cherry targeted two other men who played this same role and who battle some of these same demons. Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson.

"My point is this. You cannot stand on the highest mountaintop in the country — Hockey Night in Canada — and point your finger at these men and shout down to the Nation that you believe they're 'pukes, turncoats and hypocrites' simply because they have a different point of view than you. You cannot use that platform to target anyone in that way — and especially not men who are battling to get their lives back on track. You cannot shout those names at these men with that kind of fury and expect not to answer for it. I believe this is why the response to Mr. Cherry's comments has been as strong as it has.

"Mr. McLean: It's about the rage, the vitriol, in the public discourse. It's wrong as a legal matter; it's wrong as a matter of common civility.

"Lastly, it's not my decision where this goes from here. This is a decision for Canadians. The CBC is your network; you pay for it. And you hold the network to certain standards and values. Among those values is the obligation to 'treat individuals with honesty and respect.'

"Some viewers might actually believe that Ron & Don treated these men with honesty and respect. Those people might be content to just shrug their shoulders and say 'hey, no big deal, that's just Don being Don.' And that's fine. Those people are entitled to that point of view.

"But other viewers might believe that Ron & Don fell way short of those values. And if that's the case, I would encourage those people to direct their comments to the CBC. Please, don't call or email me anymore; it's not important that I know how you feel. Tell your Ombudsman at the CBC how you feel. He's a very nice man and he's there to maintain the integrity of the CBC as an institution for broadcasting."

This was the way the story was bound to end when Grimson and co. hinted at further recourse against Cherry last week. If Cherry wasn't inclined to do so himself, he was likely going to get a serious nudge to issue a strong apology by the CBC to avoid any legal action to be brought against them or their television personality.

Hat Tip: Puck Daddy

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:38 am

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

Hey big, news flash man: I DON'T WATCH HIM!  It is a story moron, so I was commenting on it.  I never watched him in Canada, and I still don't percisely because of stories like this.  He is a loudmouthed blowhard who crosses the line way too much and does not care what he says.  I do not respect that, and I never will.  There is a reason guys like him do not exist in the US, aside from Milbury who is garbage, and they never will.  Canada can have him.  

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:44 pm

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

I have problems with the way this whole mess unfolded.
Don Cherry is an opinionated blowhard.  Fine.  He said things on a heavily-viewed, national broadcast that were inappropriate and misguided to say the least.  Almost immediately after the broadcast, the media was up in arms and Grimson, Nilan, and Thomson publicly threatened legal action.  Fine.  That was their right to do so.

To prove their case in the courtroom, the players Cherry suing him would have had to prove that they were damaged in some way publicly.  How can they in one breath (as Chris Nilan did) talk dismissively of Cherry as the crazy old uncle that nobody pays much attention to when he starts shooting off at the mouth and then claim damages in the next breath?  That's a load of garbage.  For Cherry's words to carry any weight or credibility as damaging in the courts of law, he can't be dismissed as not worth paying attention to in the first place.

Stu Grimson really needed to let things go before he jumped up on his soapbox and gave this story even further life in the public arena.  The time has come to stop suing anyone and everyone when somebody hurts your feelings.  If it affects your livelihood, then I understand taking them to court.  But how is Don Cherry spouting off at the mouth about former hockey players who don't make their living connected to the game anymore affecting them?  Did anybody watch Hockey Night in Canada when Cherry was running his yap and have their opinion changed about Stu Grimson, the lawyer?  I don't think so.

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:32 pm

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

Amen to that!!!!!

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:28 pm

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

Being that the Canadian journalistic code is based on (or almost identical to) the UK system, people have to beware their phraseology, so "everyone is entitled to their opinion" comes with a rather large grain of salt. It isn't like in the States, where some singer can go on FOXNEWS and spout of a bunch of random crap and it's no problem. Slander and libel are alive and well in the UK/Canadian legal system, so whether or not you think Cherry has a right to say whatever, he's still open to litigation as a result of what he does say.

Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:29 pm

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

For all of you who obviously aren't intelligent enought to full comprehend this situation, lets look at the 3 things that everyone should think about before making a ridiculous comment:

1) Don Cherry has always been a very opinionated, outspoken person. Dispite what anybody thinks of what he says, ultimately he has best interest of the players, the league and most importantly the game of hockey in mind. If you don't like him or what he has to say then simply change the channel or go use the bathroom, have a cigarette, whatever, while Coach's Corner is on.

2) For a you Americans, remember your presious First Amendment, the "Freedom of Speech". Don Cherry's comments are opinions, NOT facts. Just look at the idiots who use the first amendment to spew crap or hated, outspoken people like the Al Sharpten, Mel Gibson and the KKK. You may not like what they say, but it's their right to say it.

3) This whole mess is about SLANDER, Don Cherry referring to 3 former players as "pukes", "turncoats" and "hypocrits". How are any the comments referring to Don Cherry as a "loud mouth", "gay", "xenophobic neanderthal" or especially going as far as to say you want the man dead, any different from the comments Cherry himself made. He's been slandered worse on this sight then anything he's ever said.

The bottom line is, we all have our own opinions and we all have the right to express the freely. It's through individual opinions that ideas are formed and change is made. It's time for everyone to grow up and just be glad that you're in a placed where opinions can be expressed freely. Censoring opinions is the first step down the path to Communisum.

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:16 pm

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

I think that it is funny that people complain about the fact that whenever a Canadian soldier dies Cherry gives them air time. This guy is a proud Canadian and has strong feelings about his country and opinions.

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:50 am

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

Look, obviously many of you don't like Don Cherry.  Fine.  STOP WATCHING HIM, THEN!!!!!  Cherry has been given a long line to cross, over the decades he has been doing Coach's Corner.  I, for one, am sick of you pukes and hypocrites bull!  Are you too lazy, to change the channel, when Cherry comes on?  Or, are you really interested in what he talks about?  I, for one, think he is great to watch and is a Canadian patriot!  What he said, on the years first CC, was wrong.  Why?  For taking something out of context and using it on the show.  He apologized for it.  It matters not the timing.  It matters that he gave an apology, period!  That is is OVER!  Oh, one more thing.  Most of you, that want Cherry gone, sound like  you would rather have Patrick Chan on Coach's Corner, that someone that has lived hockey almost all his life.  I say to you, "Go jump in the lake and turn the channel, if you don't like him!"

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:45 am

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

"Don Cherry is a loudmouth who happens to get air time.  I never liked him in Canada, and I still don't now.  He needs to keep his mouth shut and get his facts straight"

Here's a solution.  Don't watch him.

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:44 am

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

I like Grapes, always have.  He says some imflammatory things from time to time, I get that.  Watch Fox News for an hour and you'll hear more hateful speech than every bad comment Grapes has EVER said.  As far as Grimson?  He likse to use big words and I found his letter very condescending.  Classic example of a Law firm trying to answer a question without actuall answering it.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:15 am

Ex-fighters accept Cherry apology, won't sue

@riomouse: He only "manned up" because in the meantime he had got some legal advice of his own that he was about to get his ass kicked, and almost certainly CBC was applying plenty of pressure (because =they= could have muted him with their eight-second delay but chose not to, so they were in a tight spot too). He manned up because he loves having the money to afford all those clown outfits, and losing the lawsuit would probably have also cost him his Loudmouth's Corner job. Think about it: Has he ever "manned up" before and apologized for anything? No. Because there was never any money on the line in all the other instances.

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