A new documentary on the life of the late professional baseball player Glenn Burke raises haunting questions about the impact of homophobia in major league sports.
Burke, who died of AIDS in 1995 at age 42, came out in 1982 after he left baseball, where he played outfield for the Dodgers and the A's from 1976 to 1979. Since then, none of the thousands of professional baseball players has come out during his career.
The new documentary, Out. The Glenn Burke Story, premieres Wednesday and details the hostile climate Burke faced.
According to USA Today, "Some of those interviewed believe Burke was run out of the game once his sexual orientation was discovered -- 'It was the kiss of death for a ballplayer,' [teammate Reggie] Smith said -- first by the Dodgers management, which traded him to Oakland, and then by A's manager Billy Martin.
"The documentary tells how in 1980, Martin's first season at the helm of the then-woebegone A's, the manager used a homosexual slur in introducing Burke to his new teammates in spring training."
Following his departure from the game, Burke struggled with drug abuse, homelessness, and prison time.
The documentary, produced by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, will air on that network at 8 p.m. Pacific and can be seen outside Northern California on DirecTV and the Dish Network.
Watch the trailer.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/aFiekJb2HLQ?fs=1&hl=en_US expand=1 site_id=25879312]