Quick Shift - The "Don Cherry" Debate

November 14, 2019

Lee Elias



Below is the transcript for a Quick Shift episode created for Friday November 14th, 2019 regarding the Don Cherry firing from Hockey Night In Canada...

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It would be easy to come on here and tell you our personal thoughts on the Don Cherry situation, but that’s really not the point. It would just be two more opinions in an endless ocean of opinions. Like most issues, this is more complicated that it seems - even if we want it to be simple.

It would also force you to “pick a side”, which as you know, is not exactly what we stand for here. All I’d like to do here is share some thoughts and then get your thoughts - a digital conversation if you will. 

The biggest problem is that we are unable to have a conversation right now about anything. 

We are so focused on being “right” over being civil, that it can literally tear a group apart in seconds. Take for example our Elimination Cafe group.  

Everyone in that group loves hockey (we literally ask you that before you join).

Everyone in there supports the growth of the game as far as we know

We have received quite a few notes of love and support for the group in addition to people saying that they have been looking for a group like this for a while - meaning a group where people can enjoy the game as a community without negativity and judgement (outside the occasional chirp). In short - the group is “fun”.

The past few days the group has not been fun.

Now heres the thing. I say that and I’m sure many start to form a thought of who’s to blame for that. It might even think of a specific comment or person that has said something. Why must blame be the first thought? 

There is a situation happening right now in our game, and there are those that disagree on how it was handled. I’m OK with that. I respect that we all have our opinion, even if I don’t agree with someones opinion. What I don’t respect is when people feel the need to insult, and degrade the person they don’t agree with - what does that solve? Make no mistake - there are those on BOTH sides of this argument that are doing that. Once again - we are more focused on being “right” than having a discussion.

Progress takes time and that time is often filled with disagreement, argument and debate. Sometimes progress happens through years of civil debate and other times it comes through conflict. No matter the case, nothing happens overnight. 

What I like to focus on is the fact that progress is even possible where we live. That has not always been true through history and its still not the reality for some places on earth today. 

No matter what side you are on with the “Cherry debate”, its forcing us to have discussions that need to be had. But instead of discussing we are choosing to insult and one-up each other. I just wonder when are we going to keep ourselves to the same level of accountability that we hold celebrities and people of power. 

I write this knowing that this will not resonate with everyone, but thats not my goal. Honestly if just one of you reads this and finds value in it - I’m humbled. My goal, both here and in my other ventures, is to bring people together at a time its seems like we couldn’t be farther apart.

The fact that people feel the need to “pick sides” right now is actually a sign that we are all yearning to be part of something bigger than ourselves. I’m on the side of hockey. I’m on the side of civility. Within this group - I want you to have your opinion and believe whatever you want to believe - that is your right. I want to have discussions that will educate each other about why we believe what we believe - even if we don’t agree.

What I don’t want is those that cannot tolerate the opinions of others and feel the need to degrade, insult and fight each other to “prove their point”. It accomplishes nothing. If you feel that’s you, then maybe this isn’t the place for you. But if you, like me, want to be part of a community that can disagree at times but still work together, stick with our team. 

In reality, hockey is the greatest family I’ve ever been a part of outside my own. Just like most families we have arguments, disagreements and sometimes fights - but they never outweigh the good times, the community and the moments we experience together. The strongest families are those that stick together - those that trust that no matter whats going on - that we have each others back. Thats the team we want to create at welive.hockey - and thats the family were gonna fight for.

- Lee