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Kingston mural of Don Cherry vandalized while others still support him

Click to play video: 'Kingston mural featuring Don Cherry vandalized, while fans support him' Kingston mural featuring Don Cherry vandalized, while fans support him
WATCH: Someone has turned to vandalism of a Kingston business mural featuring Don Cherry – Nov 13, 2019

He’s become a divisive figure — Don Cherry’s controversial comments that saw him let go from Coach’s Corner have become the centre of many debates.

READ MORE: Don Cherry out as host of ‘Coach’s Corner’ following poppy controversy

Now, people in his hometown are having their say. While some have resorted to vandalism to show their disapproval, others are speaking up for the Kingston, Ont. native.

“It was just written across, where ‘Support our Troop’s’, onto Doug’s number 13 there,” says Brian Devoe, describing graffiti spray painted on a mural featuring Don Cherry.

“It just said the word ‘disgrace’.”

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Global News/Svendsen Bros Automotive. Global News/Svendsen Bros Automotive

Devoe, owner of Svensden’s Automotive in Kingston’s west end, found the graffiti on Wednesday morning. Someone had spray-painted the word ‘disgrace’ on Don Cherry’s image in a mural painted on the side of his business.

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Click to play video: 'After history of controversial remarks, Don Cherry fired from Hockey Night in Canada due to poppy rant' After history of controversial remarks, Don Cherry fired from Hockey Night in Canada due to poppy rant
After history of controversial remarks, Don Cherry fired from Hockey Night in Canada due to poppy rant – Nov 11, 2019

“I don’t necessarily agree with him, but our building being vandalized because of his comments, I think is unnecessary,” says Devoe.

A veteran himself, Devoe had the mural painted 10-years ago to celebrate “everything Kingston and hockey” and was disappointed to see it defaced over Cherry’s comments.

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“You know, there are lots of people who make mistakes. Lots of celebrities that make mistakes,” says Devoe. “As long as we learn from those mistakes and we move forward – that’s the way our society should be.”

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READ MORE: Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion defends Don Cherry, says ‘he’s not a racist’

Jean Chapman in Amherstview, like many across Canada, believes Don Cherry is being vilified.

Chapman saying she thinks Cherry simply misspoke.

“He also said that he misspoke. And he should have said ‘everybody’ – not, just ‘those people’,” she says.

Click to play video: 'Protestors call for Sportsnet to reinstate HNIC co-host Don Cherry' Protestors call for Sportsnet to reinstate HNIC co-host Don Cherry
Protestors call for Sportsnet to reinstate HNIC co-host Don Cherry – Nov 13, 2019

A fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Cherry for decades, Chapman feels the Canadian icon has been treated unfairly by Sportsnet.

“The way he said it wasn’t right. But at the same time he was just trying to get his point across, that a lot of people fought for our freedoms and the rights we have,” says Chapman, “and he believes people should wear poppies.”

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“And I agree with him.”

READ MORE: Don Cherry defends Hockey Night in Canada comments but says he would have ‘used different words’

Chapman points out all the good work Cherry has done across Canada and here in Kingston, and is undecided if she can even watch her Leafs, without Coaches Corner.

“I’m actually close to boycotting Sportsnet,” says Chapman, “and not watching my Maple Leafs — which are on tonight [Wednesday], because I don’t think they treated him right.”

Chapman says veterans fought for Canadians to be able to speak their minds, and if a mistake was made and an apology given — move on.

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