Last November, I posted about Brian Burke, the gruff president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who very publicly supported his gay son Brendan, a hockey player for Miami University. Today I just learned of the sad news that Brendan was killed in a weather-related two-car accident in Indiana Friday afternoon.
My deepest condolences to Brendan's family, who loved him unconditionally.
After the jump, Brian Burke's statement about his son's coming out, and about gay hockey players in general.
I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news [of his being gay] didn't alter any of them. . . .
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.