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Brian Burke, the general manager of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs, tells Sports Illustrated that he will march in Toronto's Pride parade this summer in honor of his son Brendan, who died in a car accident in Indiana earlier this month.
Brendan, who was 21 and a student manager at Miami (Ohio) University's top-ranked hockey team, came out of the closet publicly in an interview with ESPN three months before he and a friend, 18-year-old Mark Reedy, were killed February 5. Brendan had come out to his father a few years earlier.
As Sports Illustrated reports: "After Brendan publicly revealed his sexual preference [sic], Brian was flooded with requests to do advocacy work on behalf of gays. He told the groups that while he supported his son, he had other causes: land conservation, blood donation and children's literacy. He didn't want to dilute that work. This, too, changed on [February 5]. Brendan's causes are Brian's now. He will do a public-service announcement aimed at eliminating the bullying of gay children. And he plans to march in the Toronto Pride Parade. 'I'd promised him I would march with him,' says Burke, who briefly left the Olympics last Friday to attend a memorial service for Brendan at Miami of Ohio. 'He won't be there, but I will.'"
Read the Sports Illustrated story here.