Friday, September 29, 2017

Don Cherry's latest lame contribution to political debate

Don Cherry, that cartoon character of the Canadian hockey world, has stuck his oar into the ongoing debate on the protests spreading like wildfire in the NFL and NBA against police violence  and institutionalized racism (and, more recently, since Donald Trump's predictable involvement, against Donald Trump).
In a Trumpian late-night tweet - yes it would be a tweet, wouldn't it, no other platform lends itself quite so readily to inanities - Cherry pointed out that when former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow knelt before a game to pray, the "left wing media" mocked him mercilessly, while they play up the protesting NFL players as "heroes" (something of an exaggeration there, but let's leave the point for the sake of argument).
Now, like it or not, when Don Cherry speaks a lot of people listen, although it has to be said that a good percentage of them are suppressing guffaws or rolling their eyes. Cherry is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and his politics (and his public persona, for that matter) is well known to be close to that of Donald Trump.
Mr. Cherry seems to feel that he has made a genuinely incisive contribution to the debate, by juxtaposing Tebow's kneeling with Kaepernick's (oh, yeah, they both kneel!) But comparing the flaky religious antics of a single player with the full-blown protest movement of Colin Kaepernick (who is also an ardent Christian, incidentally) and now hundreds of others in the professional football and basketball worlds is worse than lame.
All I can think is that Cherry is going through a phase of feeling like a bit of an underappreciated has-been at the moment, and feels the need to put himself about a bit (people with egos like Cherry's and Trump's get anxious when they are not constantly the centre of attention). But don't confuse this with a pithy and poignant political triumph. See it as the feeble and flimsy commonplace it really is.

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