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Hockey GM Talks About Late Gay Son

Hockey GM Talks About Late Gay Son

Burke_5

Brian Burke (shown at right), the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, says work became the best therapy after the death of his son Brendan.

"When you lose a child, you don't go an hour without thinking about it, but I've got five kids from ages four to 29, and I've got to keep looking after them and looking after my wife," Burke said in Toronto Life Thursday. "I don't have a choice."

Brendan Burke died in a car accident in February, only months after the Miami University student hockey assistant manager came out as gay. Since then, the Burke family -- including the Leafs' GM, who has described himself as "a real macho GM" -- has taken a supportive role in gay rights activism.

"Sports is the last bastion of homophobia," he said. "There's still not a player in the NHL who's acknowledged he's gay. What Brendan did took great courage, and I am determined to make sure that his work continues. I look forward to the day when coming out is not even a news story."

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