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First big league baseball player to come out is honoured - Australia Gay News Network

07 June 2015 | glrfcentral
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A gay professional baseball player who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995 will receive a posthumous honour. Glenn Burke (pictured) will be honoured by the Baseball Reliquary Inc., a Southern California-based non-profit organisation dedicated to baseball history.

Burke was an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics during a four-year major league career from 1976-79 and was the first big league ballplayer to publicly acknowledge he was gay.

In 1982, he came out in an article for Inside Sports while he was on the active roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Reported in the Windy City Times, Burke will be honoured in a public ceremony on July 19 in Pasadena, along with fellow inductees Sy Berger and Steve Bilko.

“It’s great to see Glenn Burke not just remembered, but honored,” said Chicago-based sportswriter Christina Kahrl.

"The pressure he faced as an out athlete, and the harassment he dealt with that undermined his career, are critically important for the lesson offered, that the major sports have an obligation to not let that happen to their players, and that they, like every employer, should be ready to provide a safe workplace for everyone with the talent to be there."

 

Author Andrew Shaw

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