DUNEDIN, Fla. - The founder of an organization that promotes equality among all athletes has talked to Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguers about the damaging effects of anti-gay slurs.
Patrick Burke founded You Can Play and spoke at the Blue Jays' camp on Friday. He is the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke and the brother of the late Brendan Burke, who made headlines when he came out in November 2009 while serving as the manager of Miami of Ohio's hockey team. Brendan died a few months later in a car accident.
The visit came after former Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended for three games by the team late last season for wearing eye-black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish. Escobar apologized and said it was meant as a joke.
Escobar was traded to the Miami Marlins last November, then traded to Tampa Bay less than three weeks later.
Patrick Burke posted on Twitter the Blue Jays' response to the visit was "that was perfect."
The Blue Jays' major league team played Friday against Detroit in Lakeland, Fla.