By Sports Marketing Intern, Emily Clingan
Three years ago today (Feb. 5), Miami University and the world of athletics lost a game-changer; Brendan Burke, Miami University hockey team's student manager and video assistant was killed in a car accident. Brendan was not known because of his father, Brian Burke, who was the General Manger for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the time, but rather he was known because of the name he made for himself.
While attending Miami University and working for the school's varsity hockey team, Brendan announced he was gay. At the time of his announcement, hockey was a sport in which no player had ever come out as openly gay. His courage and honesty to honor LGBTQ athletes at all levels and types of sport is now a legacy. Three years after Brendan's devastating passing, the world of sports has made leaps and bounds in showing respect and tolerance for all athletes.
Brendan's legacy is easily seen through the "You Can Play" Project, which is carried out through Brendan's family, and specifically his brother, Patrick, as well as college and professional athletes throughout the world. The campaign focuses on "Gay athletes. Straight allies. Teaming up for respect." With this focus in mind, collegiate and professional teams have joined together in actively making the sport world a safe place for all athletes, gay or straight...Brendan Burke made this happen.
Miami University Athletics is known for producing remarkable people who have made a huge impact in the sport industry; Brendan Burke is one of those people.
"The hope still lives, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die."
Miami Hockey honors Brendan Burke through this You Can Play Project video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twSbJKgJ8ag