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Co-host of CTV show makes ignorant remarks about hockey players following Cherry's dismissal

13 novembre 2019
For the second time this week, the host of a national program may be in some hot water. This time, rather than polarizing Canadian hockey icon, Don Cherry, it is CTV's "The Social" co-host Jess Allen.

By now, we have all heard Cherry's comments either on air, live, or through social media's enormous wave-pool of information sharing, but perhaps, given all the focus on Cherry's insensitive and divisive comments, Allen's hot take on Cherry and hockey players in general may have slipped through the cracks. In case you have not seen the show, the controversial comments made by Allen happen within the first two minutes. Please see the video below:



"I don't worship at the altar of hockey. I never have," Allen said, "and maybe it's because of where I grew up and going to a couple of different universities. There's a certain type of person in my mind, in my experience, who does."

Allen continued saying, "And they all tended to be white boys who weren't, let's say, very nice. They were not generally thoughtful. They were often bullies."

“For me Don Cherry is the walking and talking representative of that type.”

This rant has created quite the stir in the hockey world, especially on social media, where the clip already has over 200,000 views on Facebook and has even sparked the burning desire of hockey-folk to see Jess Allen removed from the show. The vibrations have also been felt in the Twitterverse as the hashtag #FireJessAllen is trending.

The fact is, there's not much of a divide between Cherry's comments and those of Jess Allen. They both alienated a group of individuals and they both spoke with a passionate distaste for that group. In Cherry's case, he seemingly attacked immigrants who elect not to buy and wear a poppy on Remembrance Day to pay respects to fallen servicemen and women and to thank them for their sacrifice. The argument can be made that Cherry's comments had been taken out of context and had they been worded differently, omitting the words "you people" and, instead, utilizing the word "everyone" may have yielded a different result for the former Coach's Corner host. In Allen's case, she openly referred to hockey players as "white boys who weren't very nice" and inferring that they come from wealthy families "who could afford to spend $5000 a year on minor hockey", offering her opinion that those families could have elected to forego spending their time in an arena in favor of traveling and becoming more cultured. She even references Cherry as the type of person that represents hockey people before going on to label him as a misogynist and a bigot.

People are not happy with this, to say the least and it's going to be interesting to see if this is left unchecked, mere days after Cherry's dismissal for a much more abbreviated and less descriptive rant. Many have already taken to Twitter to air their distaste for Allen's ignorant comments:

One tweet read "It was disgusting to watch this network air the sickening and racist rant against Canadians today. You should be ashamed of yourselves for giving a national platform to a racist troll like Jess Allen. #FireJessAllen".

Another stated "As someone on FB pointed out - wonder how the families and friends of the Humboldt players feel about her prejudiced rant. #firejessallen."

Yet another individual tweeted "Come on @TheSocialCTV @CTVToronto. Hold the same standard Sportsnet held Don Cherry to. This was very offensive."

"And how is what @jessieraeallen said about every white boy that plays hockey not 1000 times worse then anything @CoachsCornerDC said?? Because she got picked on by some hockey players she has the right to throw millions of people under the bus... Pathetic" said a fourth.

It's not a surprise that people are looking for uniform consequences for the two public figures. One key difference here is that Cherry is 85-years-old, comes from a different time and is less formally educated, bordering on inherently ignorant, while Allen is definitely much more educated and seemingly displayed her ignorance by choice on her platform. Shouldn't Allen's deliberate ignorance carry the same consequence as Cherry's honest ignorance?

Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun made an astute observation on something that Cherry did not do in his infamous poppy speech on Coach's Corner. Don Cherry did not single out a specific race in his rant. Allen, however, did.

It will be interesting to see how CTV and The Social plan to handle this situation.

Source The Toronto Sun
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