A visibly moved Brian Burke, the president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, received PFLAG Toronto’s Ally Award at a Jan 16 reception held at Ed Mirvish Theatre.
“I’m greatly honoured . . . I’ll leave it at that. I’m honoured,” Burke said.
Burke has been involved with PFLAG for some time. His son Brendan came out in 2009 with the support of his father. Brendan, who was on his way to a promising career in hockey, was killed in a car accident in 2010.
There are no out gay hockey players in the NHL.
Ron MacLean, a popular CBC sportscaster, says sports media is partly to blame.
MacLean says he got heat from CBC management and The Globe and Mail after he raised the issue of gays in sport with Mark Tewksbury, an openly gay former Olympian, during the Beijing Olympics.
“I was taken to task by The Globe and Mail for having broached the subject,” MacLean says.
See Xtra‘s video report and interviews below.