Last year saw a huge surge in LGBT support within the world of professional sports, and a big part of that was spearheaded by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. Burke, after losing his gay son in a car accident, launched the You Can Play project, which encourages inclusiveness in sports, with his son Patrick.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after the NHL lockout ended, Burke was fired. He will be replaced by assistant GM Dave Nonis.
The move came as the NHL and the Leafs are preparing to return from the 113-day lockout, and certainly caught everyone in the hockey world by surprise.
Burke was entering the fifth year of a six-year deal, but the landscape with the Leafs ownership, and the immediate need to end seven years out of the playoffs, apparently led to an out-of-nowhere decision.
Joffrey Lupul, one of the few Leafs who would comment on Burke’s firing, told the Star’s Bob Mitchell that he was “completely shocked by the sudden and unexpected news.” [SOURCE]
Well, it’s unfortunate to see Burke go, but at least he leaves a great legacy behind him.