Brendan Burke, son of Toronto Maple Leaf and U.S. Olympic hockey team GM Brian Burke, died in a car crash in Indiana on Friday. While obviously incredibly sad in its own right — he was 21 — this story takes on added significance given his decision to announce he was gay in a November ESPN article. Whatever your stance on homosexuality, I cannot imagine you could be anything other than proud of this young man. I can not even fathom the amount of courage and self-respect it takes to be openly gay in American sports, let alone given his father’s position and reputation in the NHL. The article also was an incredibly touching portrayal of a father-son bond, spurred on by, but independent of, his sexuality. I didn’t know the man, but can unequivocally say that he will be missed.