Saturday, November 28, 2009

VIDEO: Brendan Burke Gives His First Interview Since Going Public About Being Gay

Brendan Burke gives his first interview to the Globe and Mail since going public about being gay in the article. Below is an excerpt from the new interview.

Also, Brian Burke, the President and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his son Brendan Burke talk to TSN about Brendan's coming out and the struggles and challenges that still exist for gay athletes. Check out the video below.

Globe and Mail reports:
Two years ago, Brendan Burke told his father he was gay. This week, the 20-year-old son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke told the world. Mr. Burke's candid revelations about his sexual orientation, detailed in an article, have reignited a national discussion about gays in sports and trained a light on professional hockey – one of the few sports that has never had an athlete come out. 
G&M: Do you believe if you do choose a career as a hockey executive this won't be held against you? 
Brendan Burke: I think for some people it's going to be an issue. I mean, there are some people who aren't going to get over this and will still hold it against me. That's the reality of the situation. That said, there's been a lot of support that my dad, my brother and I have heard from people around hockey. I've been encouraged by the response. Do I think there will be some people who would hold it against me? Yes. 
G&M: You refer to homophobia in the locker room as a reason you stopped playing hockey. Do you think this is at all diminishing? 
Brendan Burke: Like I've said before, my experience was basically with homophobic slurs and that kind of stuff. I think as soon as the stereotype of a gay person was replaced by someone they knew, or were friends with, it changed. Once they realized there might be a gay person next to them or a gay person in the locker room, the homophobia decreased greatly. Miami, like I said, has been supportive. I think it's a pretty special place, and the bond between the team there is pretty strong and a little unique. 
G&M: Will we see a high-profile athlete simply come out some day for whatever reason and say: ‘Yep, here I am. I'm gay?' Or is there still a taboo surrounding it? 
Brendan Burke: I think we will. Canada is a great place that has always been very accepting and as a country in general it's pretty gay-friendly…. So that's a good base to start from. As far as the NHL goes, what we'd need is for a former player to come out and talk about what his experiences were and what challenges he faced, and having that discussion and that player talk about it would be a good place for a current player to come out. READ MORE

TSN talks to Brian Burke and his son Brendan Burke about coming out