TV Premiere: First Openly Gay Black Ballplayer

A documentary that traces the life journey of Glenn Burke, the first Black Major League Baseball player to publicly embrace his gay identity, will air on the Versus (VS) Network on Wed., August 17 @ 11pm EST.  Check your local cable TV schedule for OUT. The Glenn Burke Story on the Versus Network or NBC Sports.

Burke, who came out while he was still a Major League Baseball player, paved the way for LGBT pro athletes.  He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series against the NY Yankees, and is credited with inventing the “high five” in 1977 when he congratulated Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker for hitting a home run in the last game of the regular season.  Burke was traded to the A’s out of Oakland and was compared to the legendary Willie Mays.

QUOTE FROM FILM — Vincent Trahan (Burke’s classmate):
On Dodger management and their suspicions: “Al Campanis and Walter O’Malley had called him into the office and offered him $75,000 to get married.  And Glenn, being his comic self, said, ‘I guess you mean to a woman?’”

The documentary navigates viewers through Burke’s career ascent from the streets of Oakland and moments around his coming out in 1982, then traces his heart-wrenching downfall due to drug addiction, and his diagnosis with AIDS in 1994.

Watch clip from film now, click here –> OUT. The Glenn Burke Story.

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About griotcircle

GRIOT Circle is an intergenerational and culturally diverse community-based social service organization responsive to the realities of older lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, two-spirit and transgender people (LGBTST) of all colors. The Brooklyn-based non-profit was founded in 1996 by Regina Shavers to promote healthy living and sustainability, and support the unique social services needs of the LGBTST elders community in New York.

Posted on August 14, 2011, in Inspire Someone, Living with AIDS, My Gay Lifestyle, Our Rich Legacy, Pride & Politics, Public Figures, Taking the Lead and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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