Scroll To Top

Father of Late Gay Hockey Manager Says Slurs Are Common

Father of Late Gay Hockey Manager Says Slurs Are Common


The father of the late Brendan Burke, a pioneering voice for acceptance of gays in hockey, wants to ensure that the NHL acts if Wayne Simmonds really used a gay slur during a game.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has carried on the message of his son, who was an openly gay manager for an NCAA hockey team before he died in a car accident and who was a catalyst for acceptance in a sport where homophobic comments had been part of the everyday.

The Philadelphia Flyers' Simmonds was caught on tape during a preseason game Monday appearing to call New York Ranger Sean Avery a "fucking faggot." But the NHL says it can't act because the tape didn't have sound, and Simmonds denies using the word even while Avery says he heard it.

"If that happened, that is just so embarrassing and the league should not tolerate it," Burke told ESPN. "That should be treated on the same level as a racially charged incident. It's the same level of offensiveness and inappropriateness."

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has said it's "abundantly clear," based on the video footage, that the word was said, and it has called on the NHL to reconsider its decision not act.

Both Avery and Brian Burke said use of gay slurs is commonplace in the NHL and that it has to stop.

"I think sometimes it reflects the habitual rather than the homophobic," Burke told ESPN. "Players reach into their back pocket and that's what they say, not necessarily meaning to target someone's sexuality."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Be sure to follow Advocate on your favorite social platforms!


Want more news, top stories, and videos? Check out the all NEW Advocate Channel!
Your 24/7 streaming source for equality news and lifestyle trends.
Click this link right now:

Latest Stories