Hockey news that matters

A few weeks back, I was in my pub of choice, talking to my friend, the King of Swing.  We were watching a Canucks game, and the topic came up on Gay Hockey Players - and, by extension, gay athletes.  Neither of us knew of any, but knew they had to exist in secret.  After all, the law of averages says they have to be there.  Playing sports doesn't make you "less gay", or anything stupid like that.

Turns out, there hasn't really been any openly gay hockey players.  How odd is that?  Well, it's true.  Until, a few days ago, Brendan Burke (the son of Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke) openly came out to the press.  There was an article published on ESPN about it yesterday.  And, of course, the sports world is reeling.

Will this open a floodgate?  How will players respond to openly gay teammates?  And, you know what?  Turns out, no one really cares.  Burke, a team manager for a college-level miami team, came out to his teammates last year.  And the response?  Business as usual.

I imagine some people are wondering why I think this is big news.  After all, I'm not one of the people you'd think would care so much about this.  I'm not gay.  I've never been to a gay bar with friends, or even witnessed a pride parade or anything like that.  My level of support has generally been "I'm okay with your lifestyle choice," and not much more than that. 

So, why is it big news?

I keep thinking of the first black major league baseball player, Jackie Robinson.  Because, really, this is a similar sort of thing - the modern civil rights movement took a step forward yesterday.  It's a small step - Brendan Burke is only a 20 year old kid who will probably never play in the NHL.  But it shows that, hey, it exists.  So, yeah, it's a small step, but at least it's a step.


  1. Ah! So much to comment on this post!!! I'll simplify with extreme note form:

    - Sports = high testosterone, gay = low testosterone, thus odds not THAT high of gayness (unless we're talking females....)

    - "lifestyle choice" bothers me. Of my 20+ gay male friends I can't name one that "chose" to be gay. Did you "chose" to like girls?

    - I guess it's a step - but it will still be all controversy. Too many dumb men like sports (dumb men = homophobic = big deal). Plus most of sports is based in the US (US = loads of homophobes = bigger deal)

    just saying...

  2. - The testosterone thing isn't fully proven. And I think sports = high testosterone isn't exactly accurate, either. There are plenty of low testosterone people that are in sports.

    - Yeah, I can understand the "lifestyle choice" thing. However, a lot of people who are gay never see men - there are perpetually single people that are secretly gay and choose not to express that part of themselves... just like there are people who have all sorts of personality traits that they wish to keep hidden. I don't mean to offend with the term.

    -I don't really know if sports are bigger in the U.S. Hockey is pretty big in Canada - probably bigger than any single sport is in the U.S., culturally speaking.

  3. 1. I was simplifying - there are always exceptions. And nothing is "fully proven" - but it's "statistically significant" which is good enough.

    2. So being a single gay man means you aren't gay b/c you're not "actively" gay? So you're not straight b/c you're not "actively" straight when you're single? You're single Dave. Is that you choosing to not express your straightness personality trait?

    3. The US = huge population + way more money. And it is so based there! Come on! Only 6 of the 30 NHL teams are in Canada!! (you bet I had to look that up)