Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Watch New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' Watch New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Watch: Racism Insurance - Coverage for White Privilege (For Everything, But the N-Word) Watch: Racism Insurance - Coverage for White Privilege (For Everything, But the N-Word) New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 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) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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