Monday, November 30, 2009

Father/Son Taking On Homophobia In Hockey


Brian Burke is the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the U.S. Olympic hockey team. His son, Brendan Burke, is a player/manager for the #1 ranked Miami University (OH) hockey team. Brendon happens to be gay, and recently came out publicly in an ESPN article (although he was already out to his friends, family, and teammates). And it turns out Brendan's father couldn't have been prouder of his son's courage...

"I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn't alter any of them. I would prefer Brendan hadn't decided to discuss this issue in this very public manner. There will be a great deal of reaction, and I fear a large portion will be negative. But this takes guts, and I admire Brendan greatly, and happily march arm in arm with him on this.

There are gay men in professional hockey. We would be fools to think otherwise. And it's sad that they feel the need to conceal this. I understand why they do so, however. Can a gay man advance in professional hockey? He can if he works for the Toronto Maple Leafs! Or for Miami University Hockey. God bless Rico Blasi! And I am certain these two organizations are not alone here.

I wish this burden would fall on someone else's shoulders, not Brendan's. Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him." -- Brian Burke
Check out a follow-up interview the Burke's did on TSN - the Canadian version of ESPN...



Hat-tip to Towleroad (posts HERE and HERE) for talking about this.

6 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

A few years ago, there was a big to do in hockey about a junior level coach who was going around messing with the boys on his team. The reason that I have hung on to it, is the name of one of the players ...

... anywho, I said to my buddy Hutch that it wouldn't be long before someone in hockey came out. I am very surprised that there isn't more atheletes that are out. I know of three pro football players that are at least bi ... but I have rambled enough.

Big ups to Brendan and his Dad for there declarations. Soon, it will be just a choice that someone makes and hardly noteworthy.

Joy said...

The more who come out the more who will feel affirmed. Good for Brendan!

Tivo Mom said...

Not only good for Brandon but also good for his Dad. What a wonderful support system this boy has. Big props to them all. The boy was raised right and you can see where it came from.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

What a great relationship they have, kudos :o)

Mark in DE said...

What an encouraging story!

Kevin said...

heartbreaking.

brendan was a gentle soul with a passion for life and a game that embraced him regardless of what or who everyone thought he should be.

r.i.p. mr burke.

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