“You people…” CBC reporter wins case after being fired for opposing Don Cherry’s rants
CBC Winnipeg journalist Ahmar Khan was one year into his contract when he tweeted in response to Don Cherry’s Remembrance Day rant about poppies that many felt was targeted at racialized communities in Toronto.
“You people… 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,” Cherry said.
Khan described Cherry’s comments as “xenophobic” and called for his controversial show on Hockey Night in Canada to be cancelled. The tweet received thousands of impressions, but it cost him his job.
“I can’t take the brown skin off me. It’s what I am first before I’m a journalist.”
This week, Khan won a grievance against the national broadcaster after he was fired based on information taken from his private messaging accounts.
The National Post reports that Khan testified, “I was shocked that somebody could be so xenophobic and racist on national TV while promoting a game that I love and that brings people together,” Khan added, “I can’t take the brown skin off me. It’s what I am first before I’m a journalist.”
Khan was ordered to remove the tweet. Outraged, he notified a contact at the media criticism podcast Canadaland about the incident, who then published a story titled “CBC Had Employee Delete Tweet Critical of Don Cherry”.
Speaking on the Hockey Night in Canada show in 2019, Cherry singled out Toronto immigrants for not wearing poppies. “At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy,” he said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Sportsnet network, which ran the program, said that in the wake of the remarks “it is the right time for him to immediately step down.”