Dana Rudolph

In Memoriam: Brendan Burke

Filed By Dana Rudolph | February 07, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: brendan burke, brian burke, toronto maple leafs

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.

--via ESPN.com


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And condolences, too, to the family of his friend, Mark Reedy, 18, who died in the same accident.

Reedy, left in the photo at the link below, was a freshman at Michigan State University, and Burke, who was considering going to law school at MSU, a senior at Miami Ohio. They were on their way to a Miami Redhawks came when the accident happened.

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs258.ash1/18539_1272624896236_1248300208_30823463_7875069_n.jpg

janice Urbsaitis | February 8, 2010 1:38 AM

Brendan Burke has left this earth too soon but he knew his parents loved him and were proud of him. My deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends who loved him, and also to the family and friends of Mark Reedy for their heart-wrenching loss as well.
When we make the world better for others, we make it better for ourselves.

I have been in tears about this ever since I heard about this on AfterElton early in the afternoon on 02/06/10. (I finally remembered late last night that I have St. John's Wort tea, so hopefully I will be better able to function from here on out. Doesn't seem to be helping as much as I might like, while I write this, but it is helping a bit.)


There is no nice way to say this, this tragedy really sucks. The potential of these two young men's lives that have been lost is devastating.

I can only hope that the memory of them and their lives continues to inspire and uplift even though they have left this plane of existence.

My deepest sympathy and condolences to the families, friends and teammates of Brendan Burke and Mark Reedy.


A few Prayers.
(Just in case someone is listening.)

May the Higher Powers That Be grant that Brendan and Mark (as well as all the others we have lost) have whatever kind of afterlife they wanted / believed in.

May the Higher Powers That Be grant that the lives, joy, and good works of Brendan and Mark continue to be an inspiration to us all and remembered for a long time to come.

May the Higher Powers That Be grant strength and loving support to the families, friends and teammates of Brendan and Mark as they go through the dark times they currently face, with the knowledge that they will, in time, find joy and happiness once again.

May the Higher Powers That Be grant us all the strength and loving support we all need to get through our daily lives.

(In no particular order.)
Amen.
Praise Allah.
Aho. (American Indian/Native American)
Blessed Be.
________ - (Insert ending word of prayer of all other Higher Powers That Be and/or of your choice.)

Sincerely,
With Love and Tears
Kurt Krzystofiak

This is a terrible tragedy. So young.