There was a remarkable moment in sports broadcasting this Monday. Dallas sports anchor Dale Hansen took a break from the standard script to address the issue of Michael Sam, a defensive lineman set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
The segment, titled “Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating Our Differences,” opens with Hansen sarcastically mentioning Sam’s “shocking” circumstance — that he’s the “best defensive player in football’s best conference,” yet only a third to fifth-round NFL pick.
The segment then took a more serious tone, with Hansen focusing on athletes who exhibit destructively criminal and violent behavior, yet are still praised for their performance on the field:
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.