His name is Dale Hansen. His name is Dale Hansen. His name is Dale Hansen. Let’s all remember Dale Hansen, Dallas sportscaster for WFAA, an ABC affiliate and nail-on-head hitter. During his “Dale Hansen Unplugged” segment, Hansen disassembled any idea that National Football League draftee Michael Sam, who came out on Sunday, would make the league uncomfortable.
“The best defensive player in college football’s best conference only a third-to-fifth round NFL pick?” Hansen said. “That is shocking. Oh, and I guess the other thing is, too.” Citing NFL officials and players who have suggested Sam’s orientation would not be welcome in a professional football locker room, Hansen then went on to decry some of the behavior that apparently is no big deal at team facilities.
“You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots; you’re the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft,” said Hansen. “You kill people while driving drunk, that guy’s welcome. … You love another man, well, now you’ve gone too far.” Hansen then brought in some background, highlighting other things that have made the league uncomfortable, like players — especially quarterbacks — who are black.
“I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay,” said Hansen. “I don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine.” Finishing his segment with a quote from Audre Lorde, a Caribbean-American lesbian poet, Hansen not only dismantled the NFL’s anonymous sources’ case against drafting Sam, he also probably redefined the public’s assumption on what a white sportscaster from Texas would think about the issue.
Hansen’s admission that his own beliefs have limitations within the bigger picture is a good one for sports fans. It is good for the NFL. And it will be good in June, when Sam will be drafted by an NFL team and all the ones that didn’t draft him are struggling to explain why.