Brendan Gilmore Burke (December 8, 1988 – February 5, 2010) was an athlete and student manager at Miami University for the RedHawks men's ice hockey team. The youngest son of Brian Burke, former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and of the US Olympic hockey team, in November 2009, he made international headlines for coming out, advocating for tolerance and speaking out against homophobia in professional sports. Burke's coming out was widely praised and supported by sports news outlets and fans, generating multiple discussions about homophobia in sports, and in hockey in particular. He was viewed as a pioneer in advocacy against homophobia in hockey, described as "the closest person to the NHL ever to come out publicly and say that he is gay." Burke was killed in a car crash on February 5, 2010. Following his death, Burke's memory and contribution to LGBT awareness in hockey was honored by several hockey teams. The "Brendan Burke Internship" was later established in his honor by USA Hockey for his work in hockey management and a documentary entitled The Legacy of Brendan Burke aired on CBC Television in November 2010. Burke's death was the catalyst for the formation of the You Can Play project, a campaign to end homophobia in sports.
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