It might have been something of an adjustment for regular viewers to tune in to Saturday's Hockey Night In Canada broadcast knowing they weren't going to see Ron MacLean with Don Cherry during the first intermission. MacLean wanted to address that right away.
"You know the story, that Coach’s Corner is no more," MacLean said to open his solo segment. "We are all hurting. I have collapsed a hundred times this week, if not more."
MacLean then said that one of hockey's most famous players had expressed disappointment in him.
Don Cherry was fired from his position after controversial comments he made about people wearing poppies during Remembrance Day.
Ron MacLean had previously issued his own apology on Twitter after the November 9 broadcast, writing, "I want to sincerely apologize to our viewers and Canadians. During last night's broadcast, Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently."
MacLean then mentioned that he spoke with Don Cherry, who apparently told him, "Ron, a lot of people will be watching this for a while. Don't go too far."
"There were steps that needed to be taken because of what had been said by Don and he didn't want to do those steps," MacLean said during the segment. "So…I decided to go one way and he another. And you say, okay, how can you choose principle over friendship but I had to."
MacLean noted that he did not want to quit because he thought that doing so would indicate that he agreed with what Cherry said or thought it was right.
Statement from Sportsnet: https://t.co/LRKrww0AQ1— Sportsnet PR (@Sportsnet PR) 1573502779.0
According to Global News, Sportsnet has announced that instead of Coach's Corner, it will be trying out new programming for the first intermission.
MacLean finished the segment by addressing Cherry personally.
"Here I am, sort of standing up and taking this position," MacLean said, "but that doesn’t mean anything in terms of my respect for you or my judgment of you."
MacLean concluded his segment with a heartfelt message to his longtime cohost and friend, saying, "I love you very much and we honour you tonight in this last talk about Coach’s Corner."