Don Cherry says female reporters need to be respected
HNIC personality holds firm on dressing room stance
Don Cherry remains steadfast in his belief that female reporters should not be granted access to dressing rooms occupied by professional male athletes.
His reason is simple: Some male professional athletes act like jerks when woman reporters approach them in dressing rooms.
"If they’re going to act the way they act [in an inappropriate way]," the Hockey Night in Canada personality said during Wednesday’s Coach’s Corner segment, "… you would not want your daughter or sister in there, believe me."
In 1974, Cherry was coaching the Boston Bruins and said he was the first coach in major sports to let a woman in the dressing room, Robin Herman, then 23, of the New York Times.
"I let her in, I had no problem at all," Cherry said. "I went [into the dressing] and told the Bruins [players] to act decent."
So has Cherry changed his mind on allowing women reporters in dressing rooms?
"I have seen things and I have heard of things that go on in the dressing room when the women are in there [that] are disgusting," said Cherry.
"Guys are going to act like jerks in front of women [reporters]. I don’t believe in it. I think they should have a room by the side [of the dressing room for female reporter access]."
During Wednesday’s Coach’s Corner segment, HNIC host Ron MacLean said dressing rooms are the office space of women reporters and they need to be in there. "The players have got to obey the law."
'You have to have respect for women'
But Cherry held firm.
"I don’t think women should be in there," he said. "You have to have respect for women."
Of the 1,814 readers who had responded by Wednesday night to a Winnipeg Sun poll asking if female reporters should be banned from the dressing rooms of men's pro sports teams, 1,353, or 74 per cent of them said yes.
On April 22, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith had a lively discussion with a female reporter from Vancouver following a 3-1 loss to the hometown Canucks.
The reporter, Karen Thomson from Team 1040 radio, questioned Keith about a two-handed stick swipe to the back of Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin in the second period after he extended the Canucks’ lead to 3-1.
"Oh, no. I don’t think there was," Keith said when asked if a penalty went undetected on the play. "I think he [Sedin] scored a nice goal, and that’s what the ref saw. Maybe we should get you as a ref maybe, hey?"
Thomson went along with Keith and told him she couldn’t skate.
"Can’t play probably either, right?" the defenceman shot back. "But you’re thinking the game, like you know it? Yeah, see ya."
While some may consider Keith’s demeaning, there are reports that Thomson may have provoked Keith more than what can be taken from the exchange above.
"Hockey is an emotional game and things are often said in the heat of the moment. I think this is what happened last night," Thomson posted to her Twitter account. "I’ve moved on."