Dale Hansen is a well-known sports anchor at WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. On Monday night, the day after college football star and likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam publicly came out as gay, Hansen ran a segment on his show called "Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating Our Differences." The anchor slammed the anonymous NFL officials who told Sports Illustrated that Sam's disclosure could potentially hurt him on draft day, as well as the homophobic naysayers who claim a gay man wouldn't be welcome in a pro football locker room:
"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. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away -- you lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.
"You love another man? Well now you've gone too far."
And then: "I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay -- I don't understand his world. But I do understand that he's part of mine. Civil rights activist Audre Lorde said, 'It is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.'"
You know we've turned a corner in our culture when a straight, white, male sports anchor in a conservative Southern state can go on television and call for the celebration of a gay football player.
Perfectly stated, Mr. Hansen. Thank you!
Watch, after the jump.