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“OUT. THE GLENN BURKE STORY,”
ABOUT FIRST OPENLY GAY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER Click link for “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” YouTube Promotion:
Documentary Nominated for both Emmy and GLAAD Media Awards to Air Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 10 P.M. ET; Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 11 p.m. ET and Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 11 p.m. ET.
NEW YORK – August 6, 2011 – “Out. The Glenn Burke Story,” which documents Burke’s legacy as the first openly gay Major League Baseball player, will have its national premiere on VERSUS on Tuesday, August 9, at 10 p.m. ET. Nominated for a Northern California Area Emmy Award and a nominee for Outstanding Documentary at the 22nd Annual GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards, “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” originally premiered on and was produced by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area last November.
VERSUS will provide encore presentations of the documentary on Saturday, August 13, at 11 p.m. ET and Wednesday, August 17, at 11 p.m. ET.VERSUS, part of the NBC Sports Group, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms. Now in more than 76 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and Professional Bull Riders (PBR). VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football, college basketball and Triple Crown horse racing coverage. The network is also home to the best outdoor programming on television. VERSUS is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the home of “Authentic Bay Area Sports,” recognizes Gay and Lesbian Pride Month with a special encore presentation of “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” on Monday, June 20 at 8 p.m. PT. One-Hour Documentary to Be Broadcast Commercial-Free is nominated for a Northern California Area Emmy Award and a nominee for Outstanding Documentary at the 22nd Annual GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards, “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” documents Burke’s legacy as the first openly gay Major League Baseball player. After the June 20 airing, “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” will re-air on Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. and Thursday, June 30 at 2:30 p.m.
Glenn Burke’s journey through baseball began and ended in Oakland, California. His sports career had many stops along the way, starting as a multi-sport star at Berkeley High School, followed by a brief stint at the University of Nevada, Reno as a prized basketball recruit, and then moving into professional baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers, being hailed by one coach as “the next Willie Mays.”Early in his career, Burke felt he had to hide his true self from his teammates. Later, when he began to reveal glimpses into his sexuality the baseball establishment began to close him out. Out. The Glenn Burke Story, a one-hour documentary produced by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, tells the dramatic tale of Burke’s legacy as the first openly homosexual Major League Baseball player. From his Major League debut in 1976 and starting Game One of the 1977 World Series for the Dodgers to subsequently being traded to the Oakland Athletics the next season, and then walking away in 1980 from the game that he deeply loved, Comcast SportsNet follows one of baseball’s most dramatic arcs. Many of Burke’s teammates were aware of his homosexuality during his playing career, as were members of management. And many of those teammates believe that his sexuality – and the reaction it provoked – led to the premature derailment of his baseball career. Out. The Glenn Burke Story tells the tumultuous story of the wedge that was driven between Burke and the Los Angeles management, the ensuing similar situation in Oakland that led to Burke’s abrupt retirement, and the hero’s welcome that Burke received in San Francisco’s Castro District after he left professional baseball. Comcast SportsNet’s narrative follows Burke through his public announcement of his homosexuality in a 1982 Inside Sports magazine article (‘The Double Life of a Gay Dodger’) and on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, to his subsequent downward spiral to drugs, prison, and eventually living on the same San Francisco streets where he was once hailed as an icon. Burke’s story took on another level of tragedy when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. Yet at the end of his life, the game that he claimed abandoned him so many years before reached out to one of its own. The A’s found Burke and provided him with constant support in his final months, as did some of his former teammates. Glenn Burke passed away on May 30, 1995 at the age of 42 of AIDS-related complications. Out. The Glenn Burke Story documents the extent of Burke’s courage, strife and friendship throughout his life, and the compassion and callousness of the sport of baseball. The program weaves together insights from Burke’s teammates and friends, including Dusty Baker, Davey Lopes, Sports Agent Abdul-Jalil, Reggie Smith, Rick Monday, Manny Mota, Rickey Henderson, Claudell Washington, Mike Norris, Shooty Babitt, Tito Fuentes, and former Major Leaguer and gay rights activist Billy Bean. Out. The Glenn Burke Story Narrated by Dave Morey, Bay Area Broadcasting Icon and Member of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 I have attached the links to a short video documentary about a radio conversation, the live radio broadcasts on November 20, 2010 over ABC Networks’ KGO 810 FM Radio Show and on December 4, 2010 over KNBR- The Sports Leader, 680 AM and ESPN Radio “The Ticket” 1050 AM, of the discussion of the film “OUT. The Glenn Burke Story” The ABC- KGO Radio broadcast was with Shooty Babbitt, John Lambert and myself. The KNBR show was with Doug Harris, the producer of “Out. The Glenn Burke Story” on the show “Law and Sports” with host attorney Ivan Golde, whose also a legal analyst for CNN, Warner Bros- KRON, and CBS-KPIX, among others.
The on-air discussions were about Glenn, the film, society and sports. I think you will be very moved with the overall content and how Glenn’s impact has becoming a serious topic of discussion around the country. Glenn lives on!!!
Here are the links:
Short documentary about a radio conversation with Sports and Entertainment Manager-Agent Abdul-Jalil, Oakland A’s Executive Shooty Babitt and NBC Sports Broadcaster John Lambert, some of the cast members of OUT. The Glenn Burke Story. The topic of the discussion was gays in professional sports. The conversation was hosted by Rich Walcolf, and filmed at KGO 810 studios in San Francisco.
KGO Radio’s broadcast discussion of “Out. The Glenn Burke Story”
http://superstarmanagement.podomatic.com/entry/2010-11-21T18_19_40-08_00 The Sports Leader, KNBR 680 AM and ESPN Radio “The Ticket” 1050 AM.
And then, there are execs like Ted Griggs, the vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Griggs, who runs the San Francisco Bay Area channel, gave the green light to a superb documentary, “Out: The Glenn Burke Story,” that airs on the channel Thursday at midnight ET (or 9 p.m. Wednesday PT).
“Out” chronicles the life of Burke, who played for the Dodgers and the A’s in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Burke is presumed to be the first openly gay Major League Baseball player, and the hour-long film deals with Burke’s struggles in aching and painstaking detail, with haunting interviews from noted former teammates like Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Davey Lopes and Claudell Washington.
Filmmakers Doug Harris and Sean Maddison, both Bay Area natives, brilliantly use the words of Burke’s friends and family, as well as snippets of interviews with Burke conducted a year before his 1995 death of complications from AIDS, to tell his story. Included in the piece is a segment of his groundbreaking talk with then-Today Show anchor Bryant Gumbel, who interviewed the outfielder after Burke revealed his status in a 1982 story in the now-defunct Inside Sports magazine.
To the lasting credit of Griggs, Harris and Maddison, Burke is portrayed sympathetically, but not as a martyr; a subtle distinction, to be sure, but an important one, and one that raises “Out” from the status of a talking-head movie to an Emmy-quality film worthy of national distribution on Comcast’s outlets.
As it is, viewers outside Northern California can find Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Direct TV at channel 696 and on Dish Network at channel 419. Comcast Sports Group, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.
Excerpts from Out. The Glenn Burke Story:Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim (Childhood friend and sports agent):
On Burke’s homosexuality and the homophobia in Major League Baseball: “It was uncompromising on both ends. Glenn was comfortable with who he was. Baseball was not comfortable with who he was.” Claudell Washington:
On Oakland Athletics manager Billy Martin introducing Burke to his new teammates in spring training: “He was introducing all the players and then he got to Glenn and said, ‘Oh, by the way, this is Glenn Burke and he’s a faggot.’” Davey Lopes:
On Burke’s trade to the A’s: “You don’t break up, disrupt a team going as well as it was going to make changes. I didn’t feel it was going to make us a better ball club. Billy North was not going to make us, at that time, any better of a ballclub. Probably not the real reason why things happened.” Dusty Baker:
On the rumors of Burke’s sexual preference and his trade to the A’s: “I think the Dodgers knew; I think that’s why they traded Glenn.” Reggie Smith:
On the suspicions on Burke’s sexuality: “I certainly didn’t want to accuse him of that, because one thing’s for sure – at that time period, it was a kiss of death for a ballplayer. He would’ve been excused from the game, so to say.” Vincent Trahan (Berkeley High School 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?’” On the Dodgers’ controversial trade of Burke to the A’s: “He was hurt because they traded him not for his baseball ability but for his life choice.” Lyle Spencer (MLB.com, former Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer):
On the reaction of Burke’s teammates the day he was traded: “I was shocked that he was traded… I walked into the clubhouse…and guys were visibly distraught over the trade, and that told me that my sense of how important he was to them internally was accurate. I even remember a few players crying when they found out about it at their lockers, which is stunning.” Billy Bean:
On dealing with discrimination: “The closet hurts people – forever. Everyone’s career ends, but to do it because you don’t feel you belong there when you’ve proven that you do is damaging. And it affects everything, and I’m sure that’s why Glenn swam in the waters of drugs and alcohol – to take away his frustration.” Claudell Washington:
On hearing about Burke contracting AIDS: “I was stunned at that time. A person that I’d known, loved, and respected had contracted an illness like that and was suffering.” Lutha Davis (Sister):
On AIDS: “A lot of people were scared because I think, at the time, you didn’t know whether you can just breathe on somebody and get AIDS or just touch them.” Pamela Pitts (Oakland A’s Director of Baseball Administration):
On Burke’s reaction to hearing the A’s would help him: “Glenn started to cry and said, ‘I’ve been told you’re going to help me. I can’t believe someone wants to help me.’” On Burke’s death: “I do believe he was in a much better place. His demons were gone.” Ted Griggs, Vice President and General Manager, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area stated, “As an East Bay native, I knew all about Glenn Burke’s legendary athletic feats at Berkeley High. I followed his career with the Dodgers and A’s throughout the late seventies, and watched and read with great interest when he came out on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel and in Inside Sports Magazine. I was saddened by his tragic death and thought at the time that his was a compelling story that should be told one day. This documentary allows Glenn’s family, friends, and teammates to tell that story, and it is enhanced with the narration of Dave Morey, one of the most respected voices in Bay Area radio.” Out. The Glenn Burke Story is narrated by Morey, who was recently inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in the class of 2010 after 26 years as a morning host at KFOG and nearly 40 years in broadcasting. Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will host a public screening of Out. The Glenn Burke Story at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street, San Francisco, California) on Wednesday, November 10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. PT. Admission is $5.00, with proceeds benefiting Marty’s Place. Marty’s Place once provided a homeless Burke with shelter and care as he coped with the effects of AIDS/HIV. Tickets are available at CSNBayArea.com/pages/out. Following the screening, the network will air a special town-hall edition of Chronicle Live from the Castro Theater at approximately 9:15 p.m. PT. Hosted by veteran Bay Area sports announcer Greg Papa, Chronicle Live is a live one-hour program, and will feature an interactive roundtable
discussion and debate about homosexuals in professional sports. Additional event details and panelists for Chronicle Live will be announced at a later date. After the November 10 (8:00 p.m. PT) debut, Out. The Glenn Burke Story replays on Tuesday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m. PT. Visit CSNBayArea.com for additional air dates and times and channel locations for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Out. The Glenn Burke Story is produced by Doug Harris (‘Bounce: The Don Barksdale Story’ and ‘Tournament of Champions: The Legends of Northern California High School Basketball’) and Sean Maddison (‘Orange and Black: San Francisco And The Giants’ and producer of San Jose Sharks hockey on Comcast SportsNet). Out. The Glenn Burke Story online press kit and video excerpts from the documentary are available at CSNBayArea.com/pages/out. ATTENTION ONLINE MEDIA AND BLOGGERS
To view, share and embed video content for Out. The Glenn Burke Story, including promotional spots and bonus footage, please visit CSNBayArea.com/pages/out. Comcast Sports Group operates 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.
Timeline November 16, 1952 Glenn Lawrence Burke is born in Oakland, California. 1970 In his senior year, Burke is named Northern Cal