That was sports anchor Dale Hansen, on ABC’s Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate WFAA, discussing University of Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam on Monday. Sam announced on Sunday that he is gay; the National Football League has never had an openly gay player, and Sam’s announcement—which came just weeks before draft-eligible players like Sam are put through the paces in front of team executives and scouts—has been hailed as remarkably brave.
You can read the full transcript of Hansen’s comments here, but here’s an excerpt:
Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn’t be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that’s a man’s world.
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.
It wasn’t that long ago when we were being told that black players couldn’t play in “our” games because it would be “uncomfortable.” And even when they finally could, it took several more years before a black man played quarterback.
Because we weren’t “comfortable” with that, either.
So many of the same people who used to make that argument (and the many who still do) are the same people who say government should stay out of our lives.
But then want government in our bedrooms.
I’ve never understood how they feel “comfortable” laying claim to both sides of that argument.
“The world needs more old white guys like WFAA’s Dale Hansen,” the Dallas Observer declared on Wednesday.
Hansen has been around for a long time and this certainly isn’t the first time he’s delivered thoughtful commentary. In 2011, at the height of the Sandusky affair at Penn State, he spoke up for the victims of childhood sexual abuse who stay “hidden in the darkness.” In the segment, Hansen opened up about being the victim of sexual assault—and how he remained silent about it for years. Watch: