Don Cherry laughs during discussion of Scott Sabourin injury, draws strong reaction on social media

Don Cherry is no stranger to making controversial statements, and Saturday was no different for the longtime TV personality.

The 85-year-old drew the ire of fans and media members alike after his latest on-air segment when the 85-year-old discussed the scary head injury sustained by Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin with fellow “Hockey Night in Canada” stalwart Ron MacLean.

When reviewing the hit on Boston Bruins’ David Backes that led to Sabourin appearing to lose consciousness before falling head-first to the ice, Cherry said that the Senators forward “just got knocked out, that’s all.” MacLean then mentioned that Sabourin was reportedly moving his extremities and was responsive to treatment, at which point a bemused Cherry asked for clarification before letting out a laugh.

Reaction to the Cherry chuckle was swift.

MORE: Sabourin taken to local hospital following collision with Backes

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann registered his distaste for Cherry’s apparent brushing off of the seriousness of Sabourin’s injury, tweeting a clip of the HNIC segment along with an explanation and the hashtag #JustRetire.

A quick check of Twitter, where Cherry was trending following his “Coach’s Corner” segment Saturday, shows many fans echoing Olbermann’s contempt for the hockey pundit’s seemingly cavalier attitude toward an injured player. Fellow media members and former athletes were among those expressing their scorn for Cherry’s comments.

A decades-long staple on Canada’s longest-running hockey broadcast, Cherry’s popularity is not in question. As time goes on, however, many figures — prominent and otherwise — continue to wonder aloud about Cherry’s relevancy in the modern game. 

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