Toronto Star Reporter Incredibly Insensitive

Generally speaking, I am a Kevin McGran fan. I think he does a good job and is up there among his peers. Last night he crossed the line.

“Brendan Burke – the gay son of Toronto Maple Leafs…..”

That’s how McGran’s story on the sudden death of Brendan Burke, the son of Maple Leaf President & GM Brian Burke began. That my friends, while totally accurate, is incredible insensitive and totally inappropriate, in my mind anyway. The story has since been changed.

“Brendan Burke – the youngest son of Leaf general manager Brian Burke – has been killed in a car accident in Indiana.”

Clearly, a better way to introduce the incredibly sad story. In fact, the 2nd story doesn’t mention the sexual orientation of the late Brendan Burke until the 7th paragraph, which is about where it should be in the relevance of the story.

Sources are telling Toronto Sports Media this morning that members of the Leafs organization, both players and management got wind of the headline last night and are incensed at the insensitivity. Earlier in the evening, the Toronto Star ran a headline that was equally in poor taste, something to the effect of Devils late goals kills Maple Leafs. This ran AFTER the tragic story of Brendan Burke broke.

The tragic and incredibly sad death of the son of the General Manager of the Maple Leafs is the story. In fact it’s really the only story here. I am not so naive to think that the other part of the story shouldn’t be mentioned. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, not much has ever been written about Burke’s kids specifically until that time. Burke, was only looking to leave Anaheim to be closer to “his kids”. The press, much to their credit left his private life private. It wasn’t until Brendan came forward that we knew anything about him. So, I get why it’s in the story. It is relevant. To lead with it though???????? In my mind is incredibly insensitive at best.



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February 6, 2010 10:15 am

Brutal…The Star can’t wiggle out of this one…

Pete Zaboi
Pete Zaboi
February 6, 2010 10:26 am

Disgusting that a reporter would stoop to that kind of low to make a headliner and some noise. Time to put that @$$hole on garbage duty seeing as he likes to write garbage.

February 6, 2010 12:49 pm

Terribly sad story….glad they took that original headline down, but McGran and the editors were complete asses for writing it that way in the first place.

February 6, 2010 1:04 pm

Saw that and had the exact same reaction. Article had to be written quickly, but still no excuse for that.

John K.
John K.
February 6, 2010 1:18 pm

While the headline was probably inappropriate, Brendan sought to stamp out homophobia from hockey, and I think it is EXTREMELY important that stories about him talk about that at length. It is what he would probably have wanted.

George Bell
George Bell
February 6, 2010 8:59 pm

Print media at one time had editors for everything… As we now get a lot of our news from new media… Guess what… Most of these editor’s would like to know if you would like fries with that.

The writer is a pig… The fact that the Toronto Star published the pig is a bigger concern…

February 7, 2010 12:55 am

How do you know that Brendan would disapprove of the article as originally written?

February 7, 2010 10:21 am

Yeah I read that – my first thought was that line from Heathers: “I love my dead gay son”.

Don’t take that the wrong way, there’s nothing funny about that…but exactly what does gay have to do with it?

Bad move.

February 8, 2010 11:57 am

Why did you put “his kids” in italics? Do you not believe they are his kids or something? I don’t get it.

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