After anonymous NFL sources told Sports Illustrated that coming out as gay might be a setback for college football star Michael Sam’s professional career, WFAA-TV sports anchor Dale Hansen went on the air and issued a passionate response to the player’s unnamed critics.
Though Hansen’s speech aired on Monday, the video of his remarks went viral on Wednesday. Reactions to his remarks have varied, but seemed to be largely positive — at least on Twitter.
Hansen dismissed the idea that Sam being gay would have a negative impact in the locker room or make people uncomfortable as ridiculous. He also argued there are players who truly seem to lack moral values in the NFL, but still gain acceptance.
“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,” the anchor said. “Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes, we know they’re welcome! Players accused of rape and pay the women to go away, you lie to police, try 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,” he added.
Hansen went on to take a thinly-veiled shot at conservatives, insinuating that those who say they want government out of their lives but want the government in “our bedrooms” are hypocrites.
“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,’” he concluded.