'Hockey Night in Canada' host Ron MacLean receives honorary degree in Edmonton
EDMONTON -- Days after addressing the firing of his long-time co-host Don Cherry on-air, "Coach's Corner" broadcaster Ron MacLean accepted an honorary degree from the University of Alberta.
MacLean was presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree at a 3 p.m. convocation ceremony that will also see degrees bestowed to language rights advocate Cladette Tardif and poet Alice Major.
MacLean also addressed hundreds of graduates from several different faculties following the ceremony.
It came days after MacLean spoke to hockey fans across the country on "Hockey Night in Canada's" Coach's Corner Saturday night, addressing Cherry's firing by Sportsnet and the controversial comments that prompted it.
The long-running segment was "no more," MacLean said in a five-minute address.
"You know Don—defiant. 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. "So he made his choice and I made mine."
In Edmonton, Maclean said he has emailed with Cherry since the latest Hockey Night in Canada.
"He's upset...we're just going through one of the most difficult situations. We each made our personal decision," Maclean said. "So many things feel raw. It needs time."
The Saturday before, Cherry, 85 years old, seemingly accused new immigrants to Canada of not wearing Remembrance Day poppies, saying, "You people that come here…you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that."
Sportsnet has said it will take the first intermission segment in a new direction following the controversy.