Last Monday Dale Hansen shattered one stereotype while admonishing those who cling to another. Hansen, 65, the sports director at WFAA, the Dallas affiliate for ABC, delivered a two-minute on-air sermon in defense of Michael Sam, the former Missouri linebacker who one day earlier had announced that he was gay.
Hansen’s editorial was less concerned with homosexuality than it was with tolerance in general. “I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay; I don't understand his world,” said Hansen. “But I do understand that he's part of mine.”
Upon first glance at Hansen, who has been with WFAA since 1983, you see an older white male with a slight southern drawl. A long-time inhabitant of Texas, a state whose hue alternates beneath burnt orange and deep red. And yet the words that flowed from his mouth were progressive and enlightened.
How does that Sara Bareilles tune go? “Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”