It’s a collective message from prominent NHL players: “If you can play, you can play.” Homophobia has no place in Canada’s game.
The You Can Play project was created to honour the memory of Brendan Burke. His father, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, sits down with Piya Chattopadhyay to tell us how professional sports can move beyond the concept of a “gay athlete,” to simply an “athlete.”
CANTON, MA.-- November 27, 2009--Brendan Burke and his sister, Molly, at his mother Kerry's home in Canton, Massachusetts. Burke, son of Maple Leaf's general manager Brian Burke, revealed in and ESPN.com article that he was gay. Burke, who died Feb. 5, 2010, in a car accident in Indiana, was student manager of the Miami University hockey team. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON
It is a word we use often, typically to describe fearlessness, strength or bravery in the face of danger. Most frequently we use it in a sporting context, detailing the courage it took for a perceived lesser opponent to face a seemingly-stronger entity, to hold one’s ground despite the odds, to take on a daunting challenge with maximum effort. We describe it as “heart,” which historically is at the root of the word itself.
Brian Burke’s youngest son, Brendan Burke, has passed away due to injuries suffered from a car crash in Indiana earlier today. From everyone here at MLHS, our thoughts and prayers are with Burke’s family. This truly puts hockey into perspective in accordance to life.