Gay ‘NHL Son’ Brendan Burke Dies In Car Accident

Brendan Burke, the youngest son of Toronto Maple Leafs president Brian Burke, and whose coming out story received international attention, died today from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 21.

Brendan and friend Mark A. Reedy, 18, were driving on a snow-covered highway in Indiana when, witnesses say, Brendan’s car slid into the path of a truck. Reedy also died.

The Maple Leafs released the following statement: “On behalf of the entire Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Brian Burke. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burke family during this extremely difficult time.”

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  • anonymouse

    family and friends of *brendan burke.

    poor guy.

  • jason

    How awful. Condolences to the loving family and friends of this young man who had the world in front of him. A horrible way to go.

    Please, if you’re driving in awful weather conditions, it’s better to pull over or find a nook to sit it out while the bad conditions subside. Please be extra careful and drive slowly during inclement conditions.

  • fredo777

    @anonymouse: no, maybe they meant family + friends of Brian Burke, because he works with the organization + lost his son.

  • scott ny'er

    @fredo777: I think you’re correct.

    Man, I remember reading about this dude recently. How terrible. Life can be so unfair and fickle.

  • Mike L

    OMG that is so heartwrenching, I still remember the article about his coming out, my thoughts and prayers to the Burke’s and their friends. This is so sad, poor kids they were so young :(

  • David Ehrenstein

    Really sad. He was a very impressive guy.




    @scott ny’er:


  • terrwill

    “I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn’t alter any of them.

    I would prefer Brendan hadn’t decided to discuss this issue in this very public manner. There will be a great deal of reaction, and I fear a large portion will be negative. But this takes guts, and I admire Brendan greatly, and happily march arm in arm with him on this.

    There are gay men in professional hockey. We would be fools to think otherwise. And it’s sad that they feel the need to conceal this. I understand why they do so, however.

    Can a gay man advance in professional hockey? He can if he works for the Toronto Maple Leafs! Or for Miami University Hockey. God bless Rico Blasi! And I am certain these two organizations are not alone here.

    I wish this burden would fall on someone else’s shoulders, not Brendan’s. Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him.” — Brian Burke

    What a damm shame, Brendan was a perfect role model for Gay youth. You can be the son of a hypermasculine NHL coach who had no idea you were Gay. And then when you do summon the courage to utter the most difficult words ever to come out of your mouth he is fully accepting. In light of this context this article about Brendans comming out has been sadly transformed into a mega tearjerker:

    Doubt if his family and friends will see this but condolences. Brian Burke, you raised a great kid who would have gone on to do great things………..Rest in Peace Brendan

  • Kieran

    Atleast the Burke family will have the solace that Brendan knew he was loved and accepted just as he was by his family. He died knowing he had nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

  • alex

    @terrwill: Thank you for the link to that ESPN story. It helped remind me that there are good parents out there, despite what I’ve seen.

  • hephaestion

    Heartbreaking. Just so heartbreaking.

  • Lucius vorenus

    The boy was so cute, so brave, so honest. He did not deserve to die.

    Such a shame.

  • Jacob

    Oh my, such a brave kid and i recently read an article about his coming out. Poor guy :(
    My condolences to his family and friends.


  • Oh Boy

    Tragic loss. What a great smile.

  • sal(the original)


  • Endless Men

    my condolences to him and his family :(

Comments are closed.