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Moment #81: Brendan Burke comes out

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Part of Outsports’ series on our 100 most important moments in gay sports history.

Hockey, 2009: Brendan Burke came from a hockey family. His dad, Brian, has been a longtime NHL general manager and his brother Patrick works as a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers. So it was no secret that Brendan would follow in their footsteps. But Brendan did have a secret that was revealed in an award-winning 2009 article on ESPN.com by John Buccigross:

On this night in 2007, you are petrified of your dad. Because you, Brendan Burke, at 19 years old, are about to tell your dad, Mr. Testosterone, that you are gay.

The story is a life-affirming tale of family love and acceptance in a rough sport. The reaction to the story was overwhelmingly positive, and started an important dialogue on gays in hockey. Tragically, Brendan Burke died a short while later in a car crash; that story will be featured later in this history series. If you have never read the original coming-out story, it's well worth your while.

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