Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Misty Copeland Series 'I Will What I Want' Directed by Sheldon Candis ('Luv') Watch: Misty Copeland Series 'I Will What I Want' Directed by Sheldon Candis ('Luv') OWN Will Explore One of America's Most Exclusive & Historically Significant African American Beach Communities in 'Sag Harbor' OWN Will Explore One of America's Most Exclusive & Historically Significant African American Beach Communities in 'Sag Harbor' Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations  Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Before Jason Collins, There Was Glenn Burke, And A Film Based On His Life Is In Development

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 30, 2013 at 4:33PM

As I'm sure everyone has heard by now, Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran, announced he is gay in a first-person essay for Sports Illustrated that appeared online yesterday, Monday.
9
Glenn Burke
Glenn Burke

As I'm sure everyone has heard by now, Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran, announced he is gay in a first-person essay for Sports Illustrated that appeared online yesterday, Monday.

Coverage of Collins' revelation has been quite extensive over the last 24 hours, and continues to be so, as some are hoping that all this fervor will translate into interest in a film project on the life of another openly gay athlete from yesteryear.

Deadline reports that Jamie Lee Curtis and JUMA Entertainment are hoping all the attention to Collins' news will help push forward a film she's apparently been trying to get made for years, on Major League Baseball player, Glenn Burke (photo above), based his autobiography Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story.

Who's Glenn Burke?

Glenn Burke was the first openly gay Major League Baseball player, which he revealed in 1982 in an Inside Sports magazine article and then on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel.

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1976 as an outfielder, and, as a rookie, started during the 1977 World Series. He was soon traded to the Oakland A's as rumors about his sexuality began to swirl. 

He is said to have been already *out* to his family and friends, so he wasn't hiding it, adding that, "by 1978 I think everybody knew,"  he was "sure his teammates didn't care."

Burke would eventually leave the A's shortly after his arrival in Oakland, when he started to feel that he wasn't welcomed because of his sexuality, and he eventually retired from baseball at the age of 27. 

"Prejudice drove me out of baseball sooner than I should have," Burke said in an interview with the New York Times in 1994. 

A year later, he passed away from AIDS-related complications in May 1995 at the age of 42.

Burke is also credited with inventing the high five.

There was a 2010 documentary on his life, titled Out. The Glenn Burke Story.

Glenn Burke changed the world forever with that one hand slap [...] Yesterday, Jason Collins changed the world forever when he told the truth. It’s a moment of truth that the world has been waiting for,” said Jamie Lee Curtis. She’s producing the film with Robert Horowitz.

Whether or not Collins' announcement does much to affect the progress of Curtis' project is anyone's guess. It's certainly inspired lots of conversation... which is a start I suppose.



Shadow & ActNewsletter