Burke calls for an end to homophobia
DON PEAT, QMI Agency
|Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke speaks at the PFLAG press conference in front of City Hall in Toronto, Ont., May 17, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke stood on the steps of City Hall and called for an end to homophobia Tuesday.
"Imagine being afraid to go to school, imagine being afraid to step on a school bus, imagine being afraid to walk the halls," Burke said during a press conference held to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
"That's a life that no child should lead and that's the life that many children lead in Ontario."
Burke's son, Brendan, made headlines in the hockey world when he declared publicly that he was gay.
Before Brendan Burke died in a car crash in 2010, he fought for tolerance in professional sports.
Burke called on everyone -- regardless of their sexual orientation -- to help make society more accepting.
"Let's make the fear in this society for this community go away forever," he said.
With the help of several city councillors, representatives of the group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) raised the Pride flag outside City Hall.
In memory of Brendan, Burke marched with PFLAG in Toronto's Pride parade last year. He plans to wear his Leafs' jersey in this year's parade on July 3.
Burke lamented that only one television camera turned out for Tuesday's press conference.
"One camera here folks, we've got a long way to go, shame on the people that didn't show up to publicize this, shame on you," Burke said.