As a former NHL player and guest on Corner of the coachTerry Ryan has a hard time reconciling publicly with a man he knows as a hockey mentor and icon, publicly reconciling them with painful comments made by Don Ferry.
"I think it needs context. I don't agree with what he said, "Ryan says.
"I don't agree with what he said, but he's not a monster."
The cherry came under fire for comments made during Corner of the coach segment of Hockey Night in Canada on November 9, which many thought was critical of immigrants because they did not wear poppy on Remembrance Day.
The commentator – also known by the nickname Grapes – was fired from Sportnet, with the broadcaster calling Jerry's remarks "divisive".
While Jerry later says he regrets his choice of words – using the phrase "you people" instead of saying "all" – Ryan wished Jiri would apologize earlier.
"Most of us are in the middle and we're injured," Ryan said.
"This is a legend. This is someone we love. Many of us grew up taking Don Ferry with their word and loved it. He is Canada. He is part of our Canadian being."
Ryan said that the memory of my money was amid controversy in one of his first Montreal games for the Canadians, when Jerry took him aside for a chat.
Describing the locker room as "strange" and the Joker, Ryan said he was known for trying to make his teammates laugh in an effort to unite them as a team.
Ryan remembers Jerry telling him to use these traits for good.
"Don Jerry called me aside and said our game is going through a change … there are many more minorities in the game than ever before, there are many more Europeans than there are, there are guys on your team who don't speak English well," Ryan said. .
"He said you need to be there for them and hockey is becoming more united over time."
The cherry she met in that context, Ryan said, does not match the justified person she sees on social media.
"He was always a sweet man to me."
"He sees things a lot on different sides of the fence. The context of this is, he's a sweet guy. He's really nice to me and invited me to his home before. I've never seen a monster have a lot of people think he is “.
"He lives in a box"
In an interview with CBC & # 39; s Here nowRyan stressed that he by no means agrees with Jerry's comments, but he questions the seriousness of the reaction and whether it is a useful approach to the necessary conversation.
Ryan said social media platforms like Twitter give it some thought, especially on controversial topics like cherry firing, but the context is sometimes lost.
"That's fair enough, but opinions, you hope, will come out [those] educated in the profession, "Ryan said.
"Don, he's 85 years old. For 20 or 30 years it was unchecked. He lives in a box. "
When airing the corner coaching segment, Ryan said his immediate question is why he went first.
"I've been in those studios, I was on Hockey Night in Canada, and the first thing that popped into my head was that the only part I know is that the tape was delayed – because the rest of it was live play, "Ryan said.
"He said it – it came out of his mouth – but there are a lot of things people don't talk about again, as part of a healthy conversation."
Ryan also comes in defense of a friend and Corner of the coach co-host Ron McLean, who also caught fire online because he did not act at the moment to shut down Cherry or refute his comments.
Ryan believes that if McLean retires at that point, the segment could deteriorate.
"They were going into a segment right after Grape and the veterans and it was a very sentimental, very emotional piece, and Ron knew that," Ryan said.
"Ron's got something in his ear and he's trying to hear what to do and he's got 20 seconds, 15, 10, he can't really issue a rejection at the time, he can't really bring something that is against the very structure of the statements of Don – and something will start. … Maybe it was getting worse before the next segment. "
Ryan said he hopes the conversation will continue in a constructive way, rather than in extreme comments on the Internet.
"I just think we should have a healthy conversation," he said, adding that he himself would continue the conversation on his podcast, Third person in.
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