Coming Out in Sports: Brendan Burke’s Story

“I hope the day comes, and soon, when this is not a story.” — Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke

Imagine this.

Well before you are born, your dad plays college hockey at Providence College and wears the “C” for Friars coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Lou Lamoriello. Your dad is then a member of the Calder Cup-winning Maine Mariners AHL team. He admits to having little skill, but contributes rough and tough qualities. You know, like pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence. He’s a man, baby.

You eventually attend Xaverian Brothers High School, a prep school in Westwood, Mass., and make the competitive varsity hockey team as a senior, but choose not to play. You say it is because you don’t think you would get enough playing time and you are upset at the coach. But you actually don’t play because you don’t think you can go another season without someone finding out your secret.

Your hockey career is over.

I missed this story when it first hit ESPN, but someone sent me the link today. It’s this kind of acceptance of homosexual people in all walks of life that I hope makes “coming out” a term of the past.

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