Reaction to the death of Brendan Burke has been strong from many corners of North America. People in sports, the mass media, and from gay communities have shown an outpouring of emotion for the young gay son of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke.
"We really wanted to win for Brendan, Brian and the whole Burke family," said Leafs coach Ron Wilson, who has been a close friend of Brian Burke since they attended Providence College together in the early 1970s.
Brendan's Miami (Ohio) team did the same after a 10-4 win over Lake Superior State:
"There's really no words to describe the emotions," MU coach Enrico Blasi said. "All the boys just really wanted to do this for Brendan. I think it shows the kind of person he was, what he meant to us.
"It was a difficult 24 hours for everybody," he continued. "I think we all know in the locker room that he was with us tonight."
A Facebook page remembering Brendan popped up quickly and already boasts over 1,000 members. One member wrote:
Devastated and heartbroken. Thank you to Brendan for your courage and inspiration, thank you to Brian for showing us how wonderful and supportive a father can be. May the benevolent creator bring comfort to all those left behind.
From The Sporting News:
Sadness is not quantifiable, and there is no amount of homage that can replace any lost son. But that is the wonderful truth of this story: Brendan Burke's sexuality made him no more or less dear to his father and family. It was just part of who he is. Perhaps that is the greatest lesson of the Burkes' story.
Brendan's older brother talked to the Boston Herald, which called Brendan 'Fearless':
"He was a blueprint for how to be happy and successful," older brother Patrick Burke said from the family's Canton home. "He was genuine, he was loving, he was kind, he was fearless."