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Hockeys Brendan Burke Dies


Brendan Burke, the 21-year-old son of Toronto Maple Leafs manager Brian Burke, died in a two-car accident in Indiana Friday afternoon, the Huffington Post reports. Burke came to national attention last year when an story profiled his coming out and his father's and family's acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Burke, who was an assistant on the University of Miami (Ohio) hockey team, was reportedly driving east on a snow-covered U.S. 35 in a Jeep Grand Cherokee when his vehicle slid sideways into an oncoming 1997 Ford Truck, the Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item reports. Burke's passenger, 18-year-old Mark Reedy, also died in the accident.

Damien Cox of the Toronto Star tweeted the following:

"Oh my goodness, what awful news. Brian Burke's son, Brendan, was killed in a car accident in Indiana today. Huge prayers to the family.
Brendan Burke courageous young man. Came out in story earlier this year. Hoped to have a career in hockey. So sad.
Brendan Burke was just 21 years old. His 18-year-old friend, a passenger in the car, was also killed in treacherous, snowy conditions."

In the story, Burke expressed gratitude for his family's and team's acceptance of his sexual orientation: "Imagine if I was in the opposite situation, with a family that wouldn't accept me, working for a sports team where I knew I couldn't come out because I'd be fired or ostracized," he said. "People in that situation deserve to know that they can feel safe, that sports isn't all homophobic and that there are plenty of people in sports who accept people for who they are."

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