I had a chance to catch up with Brian Burke, the former General Manager of the Tronto Maple Leafs late last week.
For those who care, Burke sounds like his old self, busy with a ton of charity events, watching a ton of hockey games etc.
We spent quite a bit of time discussing his then about to be filed defamation suit and in listening to him speak about it you can tell he is serious about it. He’s as passionate on the subject as he’s been about anything I’ve ever heard him speak. Officially all he would say for the record is:
“I’ve had enough of untruths about me and other public people being defamed. Enough is enough”
This doesn’t appear to be a personal vendetta, but rather an attempt to hold people accountable for untruths that they are publishing about others. Burke has had his own issues and ways of dealing with members of the media who have criticized him over the years. However I’m thinking those are different to him in that he knows who he is dealing with and more importantly the scribes generally are printing opinion. In the instance of the posts that lead to the lawsuit, people posted what one would assume as fact( which I imagine he can disprove in law) and they did so using fake names in which they can hide.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
I will say this. There have been numerous times where public figures have gone public with their innocence as it relates to accusations made about them. One way for those to prove their innocence is to do what Burke is trying to do. The truth is the ultimate defense in a defamation case. Very few have gone to this length to prove their innocence. That says something to me.
I certainly got the sense that Burke is pulling for the Leafs and that he’s itching to get back to running a club.