• Don Cherry's Final Rant: Illuminating Canadian nationalism, racial xenophobia, and hegemonic masculinity

      Falk, Jessica; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
      Don Cherry was fired from his position as co-host on the national show “Hockey Night in Canada: Coach’s Corner” in November 2019, following a rant where he singled out new immigrants for not wearing a poppy in support of Remembrance Day. Cherry’s firing was met with fury and outrage by many of his long-time supporters. In this thesis project, I explore these responses in relation to the following broad research question: How does Don Cherry’s final rant on Sportsnet and the popular response to his firing on Twitter, illuminate the continuing salience of white supremacy, xenophobia, hegemonic masculinity and colonialism in Canadian sports discourse? Drawing on the fields of feminist, anti-colonial and anti-racist studies, and literature in sport studies I conducted a critical discourse analysis of comments on selected national news reports, posted on Twitter. The overall objective of my project was to question taken-for-granted narratives and ideas of Canadian national identity, and explore the implications of these ideals. Using Canadian hockey culture as a case study, my aim was to develop a rich and accessible entry point for theorizing sports culture and to assess the possibilities and problems associated with re-imagining hockey as a more equitable site of engagement.