Longtime Dallas, Texas sportscaster Dale Hansen ripped pro football executives on Monday and others who have expressed apprehension over the prospect of Missouri University star Michael Sam joining the National Football League after announcing he is gay.
“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,’” Hansen said in a commentary on WFAA-TV. “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.”
Hansen also alluded to a Sports Illustrated report highlighting anonymous comments from anonymous NFL executives and a current assistant coach criticizing Sam for stating his sexuality before being drafted.
“I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” a player personnel assistant was quoted as saying. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”
But Hansen used the league’s history of personnel decisions to quash that argument.
“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,” Hansen said, referencing St. Louis Rams draft choice Lawrence Phillips. “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.”
Hansen also admitted to being uncomfortable at times when a man tells him he is gay, but added that, ” don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine.”
Watch Hansen’s commentary, as aired on Monday, below.