First Amendment, Who? We don’t know her.


Allie Weber

Despite the whole veteran ordeal, I think one of the main takeaways from this event is the fact that the First Amendment is dead (Photo Credits to Allie Weber).

Don Cherry, a Canadian hockey coach, commentator, and icon, was recently fired from his position on Hockey Night in Canada, after almost 40 years of working in the industry. Because of a “racist” comment, the beloved figure is disappearing from our TV screens, due to the fact that the modern world can no longer handle the truth. 

“I think people are so sensitive that they will not even allow someone who has been so beneficial to the broadcasting industry to explain himself before they come after him and his position,” said St. Joseph’s Catholic School senior Matthew Jacques. 

Cherry is known for being rather harsh with his comments and isn’t afraid to speak the truth. However, his comment on November Ninth’s Remembrance Day broadcast rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. “You people love – you, that come here, whatever it is – you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey,” Cherry said. “At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life, that you enjoy in Canada.” Poppies are worn on Veterans Day to remember those who have fought, specifically in World War One. He made this comment because of the small number of people who purchased poppies in support of Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers. This statement seemed to be directed at immigrants who were not wearing the poppies, especially since they came to the country for what the soldiers have died for: freedom.

“I believe that this is a reasonable request from Cherry as I hold those who serve in the military and those who have previously served in the utmost respect, and believe others should as well,” said former Brashier student and Clemson University sophomore Jake Weber.

Some people find this offensive, but to be quite honest, it’s the truth. If these men and women can make the ultimate sacrifice, then why can’t some people give away a few dollars in support? 

Despite the whole veteran ordeal, I think one of the main takeaways from this event is the fact that the “fundamental freedom”, which is similar to the First Amendment in the US Constitution, is dead. Even if the event happened in Canada, I have noticed how people are easily offended, so we can no longer speak our minds without the constant fear of backlash, losing our friends, or apparently, even our jobs. I completely understand that some topics are particularly touchy with some people, and we should be conscientious of others and their feelings, but statements such as those made by Cherry need to be said in order for some change to happen. 

“[Don Cherry] is being punished for exercising his freedom of speech, and freedom to participate in the media, which is a violation of the first constitutional amendment,” said Jacques. 

As a Catholic, conservative, white girl who tends to be very opinionated, I personally feel this type of backlash. I’m sure I am not the only person who feels this way. In fact, I’m sure that everyone has felt like this at some point in their life: too afraid to say their opinion because of the potential consequences. However, if we were all able to say how we felt, and for it to be respected, then issues such as these wouldn’t arise so frequently. Understanding that everyone will have a different opinion will allow us to not overreact to every statement made by the opposing party, especially since opinions are just that, not facts, but simply our perspective on the world around us.

“People need to understand that not everybody has the same beliefs or have been raised the same way, which can shift what they see as important or valuable,” said junior Kylie Roach.