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The NHL To Gay Athletes: If You Can Play, You Can Play

  • Glenn Davis

Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and the brother of Philadelphis Flyers scout Patrick Burke, died tragically in a car accident in 2010. And since his death, his family has dedicated itself to continuing his best-known contribution to the hockey world – his attempts to combat homophobia within the sport. Brendan Burke publicly came out as gay in 2009, and because of his father’s prominence and his own involvement in the sport (he played in high school and was a student assistant in college), it was big news in the hockey world.

And today, Brian and Patrick Burke’s quest to change attitudes toward homosexuality in sports – more formally, the You Can Play project – debuted its first major ad during the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Bruins. Several NHL players, including the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, the Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash and the Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson, participated. Essentially, it’s a hockey-specific “It Gets Better” video, and to our eyes, a pretty damn good one. Check it out below.

[h/t Puck Daddy/Dave]

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