Chipping at hockey's barriers

Brian Burke's openly-gay son undermines stereotypes within the sport

Here’s a hockey story you don’t see every day. A lot of ink has been spilled about Brian Burke and his Stanley Cup ambitions, especially since he became president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But ESPN’s John Buccigross has captured another side of the man—proud father of an openly gay son. Brendan Burke, a 20-year student at Miami University in Ohio, came out to his family two years ago, and the university hockey team he helps manage this past spring. Now he’s speaking out to a wider audience, and challenging a sport that is frequently hostile to homosexuality. Brian Burke says he loves his son and admires his courage. And the Leafs’ honcho is backing up his talk: this past summer he and Brendan attended Toronto Pride together.


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