Saturday, February 06, 2010

A brave young man lost.

Brendan Burke, the young student manager of the hockey team at Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio), was killed in a car accident Friday afternoon.

He was a member of an esteemed hockey family, the youngest son of Brian Burke, currently General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The loss of any 21-year-old is tragic. But Brendan - for such a young man - leaves a legacy that, within the hockey world, belies his short life.

The whole story - his revelation and its fallout - is nicely chronicled here. (Annoyingly, in the second person, but still.)

I followed the story as it played out in the hockey news. In the hockey world, it was a bombshell. I was so proud of Brendan, and especially his dad, who was very public in his support for Brendan (he said he stood by Brendan "with an axe!"). And of his employers, and of the team he managed. I was even proud of the website commenters and hockey fans who said, "Yeah, so the kid is gay. So what?"

Rooting homophobia out of sports is going to be done like this, one brave kid at a time.

Poor Brendan. I wish he'd lived to fulfill his promise. But I'm so glad he was brave enough to make a difference.


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Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

So wrong, so upside-down, so unfair and un-right.

We need more of him.

4:09 a.m.  
Blogger Xtreme English said...

will read all your links and ponder. another life lost too soon. yes, "just because he is gay" is something we hear way too often.

and, sherwood, we do have PLENTY of brians. what we need more of is parents (and presumably families) like brian's who will stand by their gay children "with an axe."

what makes me seethe are the people who go around week after month after year and still feel it's not only ok, but praiseworthy, to dump on their gay relatives, friends, and neighbors--or pretend they don't exist.

i've always thought that if there IS a heaven or hell or a last judgment, the words we will hear the most often from those going to either place will be "who, ME?"

10:30 a.m.  
Blogger Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc. said...

My and my family's condolences

4:13 p.m.  
Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

Mary Ellen, all four of your paragraphs in your comment are absolutely right on.

6:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Derek said...

You can read Bucci's follow-up column at

3:48 p.m.  

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