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Brian Burke On Russia’s Anti-Gay Law

via Tom Gulitti's recent timeline at Twitter,

Brian Burke told me today Russia's anti-gay propaganda law is "repugnant" and he won't be afraid to say that when he's in Sochi for Olympics

Burke cont: "...We’re here to win hockey games. Don’t worry about the politics. People like me will still speak about it.”

Burke: "People should remember these laws were enacted recently, so when Russia was awarded these games, these laws were not on the books."

read more from Burke at Gulitti's Twitter account...

added 3:52pm, More on this topic from Burke a few Team USA players on this topic by Corey Masisak of NHL.com.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, team+usa

Comments

Avatar

He’s a stand up guy. I dont know why he gets criticized for being a “bigmouth”. He’s honest.

Posted by fantasy hockey fanatic on 08/27/13 at 02:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

He’s a stand up guy. I dont know why he gets criticized for being a “bigmouth”. He’s honest.

Posted by fantasy hockey fanatic on 08/27/13 at 02:33 PM ET

Because when it comes to hockey matters, he is actually a big mouth.  And he’s a bit of a backwards neanderthal with hockey matters as well.

Posted by Primis on 08/27/13 at 02:41 PM ET

Avatar

He is unquestionably a big mouth, but in this case, that is what the situation needs. A blowhard like Burke is perfect.

Posted by Chris M on 08/27/13 at 02:48 PM ET

petshark's avatar

It is such a mess. I thought Burke also said that a boycott would be appropriate, but if you boycott, you can’t go there and speak your mind. It’s just awful, really incomprehensible to me that they would pass such a law. Accordingly, I can’t figure out what Olympians should do about it, short of going there with the intent of being arrested.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 08/27/13 at 02:54 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

I think Burke’s position was that a boycott would punish the athletes, but that he was going to use the opportunity to speak out and encourage others to do the same. He’s seemed pretty consistent.

He’s certainly never been shy about speaking his mind. Glad that, in this case, I agree with him more or less completely.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/27/13 at 03:43 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added a link to NHL.com to the post with more from Burke and players.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/27/13 at 03:55 PM ET

awould's avatar

I think Burke is a big mouth and a blowhard and a bit of a narcissistic a-hole when it comes to hockey matters. But on the issue of gay rights, especially in sports, he’s done nothing but good. And that more than cancels out the hockey stuff because one thing matters in the world and the other just doesn’t.

I’m looking forward to seeing him in Russia.

Posted by awould on 08/27/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“...We’re here to win hockey games. Don’t worry about the politics. People like me will still speak about it.”

Seems to me like the Director of Player Personnel Brian Burke might miss the spotlight that GM of Team USA Brian Burke once enjoyed. Does Team USA really need its’ DPP to create a stir by voicing his opinion on this subject while the games are on? Won’t that be an un-needed distraction?

By all means, he should voice his concerns and opinions on the matter at the appropriate time, which to me seems to be after the games have concluded. After Team USA has played its last game, fire off.Take no prisoners.

But any comments made during the games may be counter-productive, as the media could put Burke and his comments on center stage (it’s Burke, it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t mince his words); and that is a distraction Team USA’s players don’t need.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 08/27/13 at 05:59 PM ET

Avatar

Seems to me like the Director of Player Personnel Brian Burke might miss the spotlight that GM of Team USA Brian Burke once enjoyed. Does Team USA really need its’ DPP to create a stir by voicing his opinion on this subject while the games are on? Won’t that be an un-needed distraction?

Jesus, miss the point much?

Posted by Garth on 08/27/13 at 06:41 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I agree with the majority of the sentiments here. If we’re talking “Brian Burke as NHL GM/executive,” the guy is undoubtedly one of the most overrated at building a team, and is about as obnoxious as it gets. But on this real-life, meaningful issue, he speaks the truth and has a life story behind it that is really powerful.

I have to say that in general, I think the attitude around sports is not particularly conducive to issues like this. There’s a lot of machismo and chest puffing and all that jazz. But yet again, hockey players have shown that there is some general down-to-earth charm about them, as they have largely spoken out on this issue in a very positive way. I’m really impressed. I also think that a huge component of this is generational, of course… now, most of these players are in my age group, and from personal experience, I think a large majority of people under 35 today are strongly on the side of “gay rights == human rights,” so perhaps talking to a large group of mostly under 35 hockey players is simply reflecting exactly what the generation believes in general.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/28/13 at 08:55 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

It’s naive for anyone to think the olympics aren’t political. Since the 36 games, politics has been at the forefront in who gets the games and in the rivalries. Russia’s decision to hold the winter games in a warm resort was political. Russia enacting a human rights violation before the games is political. The US not boycotting is political. The repression that will almost certainly happen as people protest this law will be political. I’m glad the NHL has made noise about this as so many NHL’ers are playing in these games and this law directly contradicts the inclusive message of hockey and of international competition.


But on its face, it’s really ridiculous to have the olympics and to be homophobic. Do the Russians not understand the culture of ancient Greece?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 08/28/13 at 10:58 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Jesus, miss the point much?

Posted by Garth on 08/27/13 at 06:41 PM ET

Nope, but I see it’s a favorite past-time for you smile

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 08/28/13 at 11:21 AM ET

Avatar

Nope

Yep.

But hey, why try to separate the GM from the human being when you can just be an ignorant dick, right?

Posted by Garth on 08/31/13 at 10:53 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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