David Menzies Tragically Wrong About Brian Burke, Gay Rights, Bullying

David Menzies of Huffington Post Canada recently wrote a disturbingly misinformed piece on Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs, gay rights, and hockey. Here’s hoping it’s the last time he gets the chance…

David Menzies is wrong about gay rights. He’s wrong about the seriousness of bullying and the ultimate suicides of gay teens. He’s wrong about the pathetic notion that those who support tolerance do so only as part of his PR conspiracy theories. Menzies is also very wrong about Brian Burke, the entire Burke family, Sean Avery, and the role of sports figures in cultivating tolerance. How anyone allowed this infuriating garbage to reach the internet is questionable enough, but why it’s still up, comments disabled and message intact, is nothing short of abhorrent.

In the original version of David Menzies’ Burke-bashing and homophobic article, lacking any semblance of proper research and editing, Menzies points out incorrectly that “Patrick — who died tragically in a car accident in 2010 — was gay”. Menzies names the wrong son, but is aware that one of Brian Burke’s sons was gay. It begs the question how Menzies possibly thinks that Burke, for the first time in his life, would support gay rights and tolerance solely to diffuse a situation with Don Cherry and “bolster his tarnished image”. Brian Burke has been active in promoting tolerance and did not “roll out an anti-homophobia campaign” because of a feud with Don Cherry. Thank goodness Huff Post corrected this error, but why, when correcting this piece, did it not get removed, retracted, or revised further? Whoever edited this piece to correct a tragic error essentially picked up dog shit, shaped it into a more proper turd, and placed it back on the sidewalk for all of us to step in.

The notion that Burke’s involvement in anti-homophobic campaigns comes on the heels of a “very brutal few weeks” for Burke’s image is disturbing in and of itself. Brian Burke more likely got involved on the heels of a very brutal few months for teen suicides as a result of bullying. As bully-related suicide numbers continue to climb, particularly in an era of unbridled cyber-bullying and tumultuous gay rights issues, Burke is attempting to encourage those who need it most. This issue is far bigger than the “tarnished” hockey image of one the best-known general managers in the NHL.

He also casually suggests that “the whole gay rights issue seems to be less about equal rights and more about special rights these days”. David Menzies goes as far as to call the issue of gay rights “perversely ironic”. Menzies has to be the owner of one of the most backwards gay rights perspectives I’ve ever seen published by a major paper. He goes on to suggest that the bullying of homosexual students is akin to that of red-headed teens, ignoring the statistical evidence on teen suicides that proves otherwise.

Menzies appears to be using anti-gay arguments in a personal vendetta against Brian Burke. He goes as far as to call Burke and Sean Avery “peas in a pod”, with Burke “learning a lesson from Avery’s potty mouth” before he too saved his PR image by supporting gay rights. Ultimately, if this was about David Menzies backing Don Cherry from Brian Burke’s unemployment influence, one can only hope that Menzies’ homophobic, unintelligent, and offensive comments put him within Burke’s supposed range for getting people fired.

Question: When do you know a journalist is an idiot?

Answer: When he writes one of the most tragically uninformed, homophobic, and unintelligent pieces I’ve ever read.

Maybe it’s time for that “whiz-bang slogan” you have for when you get into hot water.

You can read David Menzies’ anti-Brian Burke, gay rights, and bullying post here, but as of now it looks like you won’t be allowed to comment. Instead, reach out to the man himself @theMenzoid on Twitter.

Mark Donatiello
Follow me on Twitter:  @FasterHockey ...read more

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