Sometimes even the old white guys get it

This old white guy is also from Texas, and he’s a sportscaster, yet somehow in one fabulous speech he manages to put the whole Michael Sam story into perspective.

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!

Good work, Dale Hansen!


  1. Louis says

    I have to confess I was bloody impressed by this. Brought a tear to my eye for all the right reasons and I don’t mind saying so.


  2. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That gets my whole-hearted Official SpokesGay seal of approval. I don’t have a churlish thing to say (!).

  3. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    More of this. We need more of this. When the Platonic Ideal of Old White Guy says this stuff on a sports broadcast, great swathes of viewers are forced to confront their attitudes in a way they can’t just ignore. They can’t write him off as some “freak” or “other.” He’s them. He’s their dad.

  4. bbgunn says

    The liberal in me says, “Well done, Dale Hansen.” The pessimist in me says, “I hope you’ve got enough in your 401K to retire, Dale Hansen, because the goodly, dog-fearing evangelibans down there in TX are going to come after you and your TV station for that editorial.”

  5. Anri says

    I kept thinking (pardon my pop-culture-ness) that this could have been an excerpt from a Jeb Bartlett speech from West Wing.

    Except this is way better because it’s not scripted fiction, but a real thing. Rock on, sir.

  6. azhael says

    Celebrate diversity! Humans are a diverse and individually unique bunch, and that´s good and beautiful.
    Someone give that man a hug (provided he consents).

  7. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @bbgunn, 4,

    Well, if he’s burned his bridges, at least he’s done it from the right side of the river.

  8. says

    Recognizing that being uncomfortable with someone’s life (or sexuality) isn’t a basis to condemn it… well done!

    I don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine.

  9. latsot says

    I’m another one with a tear in my eye.

    And Maroon: collect your Internets at the door. ‘ll be stealing that too.

  10. Nick McKone says

    The best part of that speech, in my opinion:

    “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 a part of mine.”

    Honest, and hopefully persuasive to other dudes with what I imagine was his kind of southern upbringing.

  11. says

    @Josh #2 – “I don’t have a churlish thing to say (!).”

    My flabber has been gasted.

    @What a Maroon #8 – “Well, if he’s burned his bridges, at least he’s done it from the right side of the river.”

    I agree with the others: that is a steal-worthy turn of phrase.

  12. boyofd says

    Great speech, made all the more powerful when you consider the audience it is reaching.

    I do want to throw out a preemptive caveat, however, regarding Sam when it comes to the draft. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any doubt that this announcement will hurt Sam’s draft prospects (and it certainly will hurt his draft prospects with many of the teams, although perhaps a couple of teams won’t change their opinion on where or whether to draft him). With that said, however, it will be almost impossible to determine how much effect his announcement will have on where he is taken.

    Even this sportscaster asked why Sam “the best defensive player in the best league” would be taken in 3rd round without recognizing (1) that he was a projected 3rd-5th rounder before the announcement, and (2) he is not “the best” defensive player in the SEC, at least not from the NFL’s perspective. Winning Defensive POY awards is more about statistics, and Sam had some incredible statistics. But Jadaveon Clowney is hands-down the best defensive NFL prospect in the SEC, and there are many other better NFL prospects in the league as well. Not to mention that different teams have different needs (i.e., not all teams will need or want a small-sized DE).

    The NFL draft is a crazy process, and some players jump and drop multiple rounds from where they are projected all of the time (especially those projected in the middle rounds) for many imperceptible reasons. Sam will almost surely take a hit (even teams that still want him will probably believe they can still get him a round or two later than they originally projected him), but we should be careful not to presume that every round he drops after the first round is the result of homophobia.

  13. latsot says


    My father is one of those people who struggles with the notion of homosexuality because on one hand he thinks his religion says it’s bad and on the other he knows that people are people regardless of what they do with their mentionables.

    Goodness knows I’m no fan of his but the fact that he actually genuinely does struggle with this issue is a shitload better than the alternative.

    It only goes so far, though. And this is something we should all talk about more. My mother worked for 40 years with people who had mental disabilities. One of the things she did was help such people move into proper homes where they could care for themselves. Obviously, some of these people were gay and some of the flats she organised and appointed were for gay couples. My dad simply cannot understand that people with mental disabilities could possibly be gay. He just can’t do it. He can’t help but, eventually, to define what other people want in terms of what he decides he can tolerate.

    But the fact that he struggles suggests that maybe I should afterall ring him up at christmas. Or at least every other christmas.

  14. Granny Sue says

    Dale Hansen was the speaker at my son’s high school football banquet around a quarter century ago. I have a hard time thinking of him as an old white guy. Guess it is because I’m an old white woman. Nice speech.

  15. bbgunn says

    What a Maroon, el papa ateo at #8:

    Well, if he’s burned his bridges, at least he’s done it from the right side of the river.

    Bravo for that sentiment and your words. Well done.

  16. says

    This is becoming less and less a straight-versus-gay issue and more of a generation gap, the old and ignorant versus the young and experienced.

    It’s not the players who are or will resist Michael Sam’s presence. The younger players have grown up knowing gay people in their families and neighborhoods, met them, played with them.

    The old guard are the ones who don’t like it – the owners, the GMs, the coaches, the players raised with outdated and hate-based “values”. They’re living in a bubble, ignorantly assuming (like teabaggers and the rabidly religious) that their views are still acceptable.

    “Familiarity breeds contempt”? No, sometimes familiarity breeds contentment. Those who grew up knowing LGBTQ people see through the hate, myths and propaganda.

  17. says

    I bet there are thousands of Texans who are going, “no wonder hell froze in Tex this winter with folks like that walking’ around us”. It takes plenty of courage to say that in the south unless your retirement 401K is rock solid. Kudos Sir. Just reading that quote made all my teeth fall down one after another. :E

  18. sphex says

    I don’t know if bridges were actually burned or not, but I’m pretty certain Mr. Hansen will be getting plenty of outraged calls and e-mails. I took a minute to write a fan letter… you might want to as well.
    His e-mail is dhansen AT

  19. schism says

    “I hope you’ve got enough in your 401K to retire, Dale Hansen, because the goodly, dog-fearing evangelibans down there in TX are going to come after you and your TV station for that editorial.”

    The guy’s been one of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s preeminent sportscasters almost as long as I’ve been alive. He’ll be fine.

  20. ebotebo says

    Just to put in my two cents, it makes me all warm and snuggly to hear people speaking and commenting in this way.

  21. plainenglish says

    Aw, shucks…. let me see if I get this right: beaten women, killed people, drugged thick-neckers and hookers, maybe-rapists, cover-up liars and now, homosexuals-ahhh. You see what happens??? And all this because some years ago, we allowed-ahh sports-ahh on Sunday. We have truly fallen now from the narrow-ah and the straight-ahhhh.

  22. davidschilling says

    There of plenty of Texans sharing this video and praising Dale for this one. Well done sir.

  23. Rey Fox says

    Reminds me of a series of tweets supporting Sam and debunking the “distraction” claims from one Donte Stallworth. Good stuff, but what he really should have said was “I played in the league after killing a guy with my car. Your argument is invalid.”

  24. Rey Fox says

    (In other words, Stallworth is the second guy alluded to in the quoted paragraph from Mr. Hansen)

  25. Marc Abian says

    Good speech.

    Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they’re welcome.

    Minor quibble, in that theoretically at least, this is not immoral IMO.

    Great line about the bridges too.

  26. schism says

    Minor quibble, in that theoretically at least, [drugs and prostitution are] not immoral IMO.

    They are to the average moralizing homophobe, so I’d call it a fair point.

  27. hillaryrettig says

    I’ve been rereading David Brock’s Blinded by the Right, his memoir of his time as a far right tool. (Fantastic, btw, especially if you want to see what motivates “those people.” He later renounced conservativism and founded Media Matters.) As little as 20 years ago, it was not only permissible for Republicans to spout gay hatred publicly, but it was considered a good strategy.

    How much things have changed in a scant 20 years. Thanks largely to the gay activists and millions of ordinary gay folks just coming out, aided and supported by the Internet. Reason for optimism for the future…

  28. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    I’m loving this.

    I’m also loving the fact that he quoted Audre Lorde. Audre Lorde, y’all! Being quoted approvingly by an old white guy on a Texas sports show.

    My flabber, she is truly gasted.

  29. fourtytwo says

    Excellent. My favorite bit:

    …the same people who say government should stay out of our lives, but then want government in our bedrooms.

  30. Thumper: Token Breeder says


    Thanks for the link :) went and sent Dale some love from across the pond, then helped with the stomping a bit.