Openly Gay Hockey Player Within A Year?

YouCanPlay

Following the 2010 car accident death of his gay son, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Brian Burke decided to dedicate his life off the ice to fighting homophobia. So too did his other son, Patrick (both pictured).

Though it's only been about a year since their You Can Play campaign began rallying for LGBT inclusion in the National Hockey League, Patrick says he's already seen a tremendous amount of progress and even predicts that professional hockey will soon see an openly gay player.

"Within the next two years, I predict we’ll have an openly gay National Hockey League player," Burke told Adam Proteau at The Hockey News. "That is my personal belief and numerous people, including people within the charity, disagree with me completely. It’s my opinion only, but I think I’m right."

More from that interview:

I think our athletes have made it clear they support their teammates. I think management has made it clear through their support of You Can Play. I think fans have made it clear. I think the commissioner has made it clear. I think the league office has made it clear. Everyone knows now the NHL is on board. I believe players will take a little while and make sure we’re not going anywhere, that YCP and the Burke family are here to stay, and within the next couple years they’ll know that this is a league in which they can come out and still play.

A number of professional players have joined Patrick and Brian Burke's movement, and though he always thought the league would be supportive, Patrick says he's blown away by the level of commitment he's seen: "To say I expected this level of support and this amount of players to go above and beyond and reach out to us, no, I never could’ve predicted this.”

Comments

  1. Gigi says

    I sent Patrick an email after his brother Brendon died in the tragic car crash (after I stopped crying), expressing my condolences and comended him for being such a supportive and loving brother. I also told him a bit about my family not being supportive when I came out, and how lucky Brendan was to have him as a brother. In spite of the fact that he was still grieving he took the to respond. He was so kind and thoughtful – and strong – that he actually restored my faith in humanity. Until the next NOM press release that is. But then there was this today!

  2. Matt26 says

    It is about time to get gays out of closet in sports. I just wonder what straight guys watching sports will say? Their favorite athlete might turn out to be gay. Oh oh.

  3. Michael says

    Q: What’s the difference berween a closeted gay pro athlete and an open and honest one?

    A: A desperate need to blame your “virginity” on biblical morality.

  4. NN says

    They have stood by their word.
    I think they’ve done such a good job for LGBT people, especially in sports. They really try their best to make the world a little better place to be In. They have my respect.

  5. NN says

    They have stood by their word.
    I think they’ve done such a good job for LGBT people, especially in sports. They really try their best to make the world a little better place to be In. They have my respect.

  6. Reilly says

    When the first active US professional athlete comes out, homophobes will be forced to confront the irony that the person their rhetoric marginalizes as a “sissy” has just done one of the ballsiest things anyone could do. 😀

    Obviously I’ll support any athlete who does this, but a big part of me is hoping that the first NHLer to come out is some huge 280-pound enforcer. “Try calling ME a f_g, punk!!” 😀

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