Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke, brother of Brendan Burke and son of Brian Burke, who earlier this week wrote a fantastic column on the state of homophobia in hockey, sent us this statement after the announcement that the Stanley Cup and the Chicago Blackhawks would be represented at the Chicago Gay Pride parade:
The Burke family is extremely proud of Brent Sopel for bringing the Stanley Cup to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. Our family has known Brent since he played for the Vancouver Canucks, and we are so thankful that he is choosing to honor Brendan' legacy. This past season ensured that Brent would be remembered as a Stanley Cup champion, but his actions next Sunday will ensure a much more important and unique legacy for him. He will, like Brendan, be remembered for giving hope to the next generation of athletes by standing up for inclusion and acceptance. We would also like to thank and commend his wife and children for their support.
We are also grateful for the actions of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, especially President John McDonough, who ensured the greatest trophy in sports could be present at the parade.
This announcement is another important step towards Brendan's goal of full openness and equality in the hockey world. The Burke family re-affirms our constant committment to this wonderful cause.
The state of homophobia in sports is changing, folks. And it's just going to keep getting better.