NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former NHL tough guys Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson have accepted Don Cherry’s apology.
The group issued a statement Sunday saying they “appreciate” the apology offered by Cherry during his “Coach’s Corner” segment a night earlier. They also expressed a desire to move forward and indicated they wouldn’t be pursuing legal action.
“Throughout the events of the last several days, there has been widespread speculation with respect to whether the above-named individuals will pursue legal recourse as a result of Mr. Cherry’s comments during the October 6 broadcast,” the statement read. “Messrs. Grimson, Nilan and Thomson wish to state that they do not intend to pursue such recourse, as a group.”
On Saturday night, Cherry apologized for calling the tough guys “pukes” and “turncoats” on the first broadcast of “Coach’s Corner” this season. He also said he was wrong to suggest that Nilan and Grimson linked fighting in hockey to drug use.
Cherry singled out the players as part of a longer segment where he accused those against fighting of using the recent deaths of tough guys Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak as a soapbox.
“The first ‘Coach’s Corner,’ I’ve got to admit I was wrong on a lot of things,” Cherry said Saturday. “I put down three enforcers, tough guys, my type of guys, I threw them under the bus. I’m sorry about it, I really am.”
Grimson, a lawyer practising out of Nashville, issued a second statement Sunday encouraging Canadians to express their feelings about the matter.
“It’s not my decision where this goes from here,” he said. “This is a decision for Canadians. The CBC is your network; you pay for it. And you hold the network to certain standards and values.
“Among those values is the obligation to ‘treat individuals with honesty and respect.”‘