There are many sides to Brian Burke, the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager who makes as much news by himself as seemingly the other 29 GMs in the NHL make combined.
It's not always for him being a little ... odd in his behavior as a GM either. He is just as known for a cause that's very near and dear to his heart, the gay-rights movement. That was something he became involved with after his son Brendan came out as a homosexual man while a student at Miami University and working with the hockey team.
This weekend marks the two-year anniversary since Brendan died in a car crash in Indiana. It was a sad day not only for the Burkes and all who knew Brendan, but for hockey and the sports world too. Brendan was a pioneer and certainly courageous for standing up for the gay-rights movement in sports the way he did.
Today, his father continues to carry on the legacy of his son, if you will. He recently joined CBC's George Stromboulopoulos on his show and explained that he doesn't believe it will be as hard for a gay athlete to come out in the NHL as everybody thinks. He says he knows the Maple Leafs wouldn't have any problems.
I didn't imagine today that I would take parental advice from Brian Burke, but beyond the messages that he would welcome a gay player on his team and how he believes acceptance is greater than people believe, he really did present what I think to be a good message about parenting. He was in a situation when Brendan came out that he had no regrets about anything he had ever said.
H/t to Chris Peters of The United States of Hockey (excellent read)