As we talked about on our last podcast, one of the big benefits of people in sports coming out of the closet is the excuse it gives the media to talk about gays in sports and ask athletes questions about the issue. Brendan Burke's coming out is no different. Since the son of the Toronto Maple Leafs' GM announcement last week, the Toronto Globe and Mail has been doing a fantastic job, in particular...
David Shoalts talked to members of the Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning, with mixed response, some of them seemingly perturbed that they were being asked about gay issues.
David King, an assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes, said hockey players are more ready than ever:
Guys are now intelligent enough, smart enough and worldly enough to realize that there are gays in every profession. It's the reality of the world we live in - and hockey is a part of life.
They also had Mark Tewksbury in for an online chat that yielded a good discussion. Among other things, Tewksbury was (of course) asked about getting naked in the locker room, and Mark had a great answer about the difference between homoeroticism and homosexuality.
Erin Anderssen and Jeff Blair tracked down some gay former high school athletes about being gay in sports and the decision about coming out.
Winnipeg Free Press columnist Randy Turner is rolling his eyes a bit at all the "positive" response, knowing beneath it all is a sports culture full of homophobia:
Question: If being gay in sports is so damn uneventful, why is it that, in the recorded history of professional hockey -- at least as far as we know -- there's never been one openly gay player come out before retiring? Or even after, come to think of it.
TSN talked on air to Brendan and his father, Brian...