TORONTO – Don Cherry hasn’t changed his mind — he still doesn’t believe women should be in men’s locker-rooms.
The CBC hockey commentator reiterated his opinion Wednesday during his Coach’s Corner segment of “Hockey Night in Canada.”
Cherry defended himself as the first coach in a major sports league to let women in the locker-room, which he did in the 1970s when former New York Times reporter Robin Herman covered the Boston Bruins.
But Cherry said he wouldn’t do that if he were coaching today.
“Why have I changed my mind? I’ll tell you why I’ve changed my mind. I have seen things and I have heard of things that go on in the dressing room, when the women are in there, are disgusting,” said Cherry, who added interviews with female reporters should take place in another room.
“If (players are) going to act the way they act … not everybody, you would not want your daughter or your sister in there. Believe me.”
Cherry’s broadcast partner Ron MacLean again disagreed.
“You can’t have that though,” said MacLean. “It’s an office space. The players have got to obey the law. The reporters have to have their workplace.”
“I don’t care what it is,” replied Cherry. “I don’t think women should be in there. … You have to have respect for women and that’s the way I feel.”
Cherry’s initial comments went viral Saturday after he discussed a controversy surrounding Chicago’s Duncan Keith. The Blackhawks’ defenceman was criticized last week for delivering what some considered a sexist post-game putdown in Vancouver to radio reporter Karen Thomson of Team 1040.
Keith later apologized for the exchange, but Cherry said Thomson should never have been in the locker-room to begin with.
The segment was debated on social media with some accusing Cherry of being sexist while others suggested there is a double standard.
Cherry won’t be reprimanded by the CBC. A spokesman said Monday that Cherry doesn’t speak for the public broadcaster, and added there are no plans to discipline him.