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Brendan Burke's Legacy

Brendan Burke's Legacy

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Patrick Burke has written a tribute to his recently deceased brother, Brendan, a hockey manager at Ohio's Miami University and the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.

In the message, published on Outsports, Patrick writes how his brother was a pioneer by coming out in a sport like hockey, a game in which no NHL player has ever come out. Patrick writes of Brendan preparing to tell the world he was gay and the subsequent outpouring of support he received after the ESPN.com article, where Brendan came out publicly, was published in December. Brendan was killed in a traffic accident only two months later.

"It is truly a vicious cycle," Patrick Burke writes. "Athletes who are never exposed to gay culture hold onto antiquated (and often harmful) stereotypes about homosexuality, which makes gay athletes afraid to come out, which means the athletes never confront the ignorance of their beliefs. The cycle has been repeating itself for generations in pro sports."

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