Check out this extraordinary commentary about Michael Sam, from a longtime Dallas sportscaster, Dale Hansen. Hansen is 65 years old and has been in sports broadcasting for decades.
And boy does he bring it in a two-minute riposte that’s been making the rounds.
Hansen begins by reciting a litany of bad acts that did not result in the blackballing of players: “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;” (he’s referring to Lawrence Phillips, who was taken sixth overall in the 1996 draft); and “You kill people driving drunk. That guy’s welcome,” and also “Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away.” All fine, sayeth the NFL.
But, Hansen continued:
“you love another man, well now you’ve gone too far. It wasn’t too long ago that we were being told black players couldn’t play in our games because it would too uncomfortable. And even when they finally could, it took several more years before a black man could play 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 the government should stay out of our lives, but then want government in our bedrooms. I’ve never understood how they feel comfortable laying claim to both sides of that argument. I am not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay. I don’t understand his world. But I do understand he’s part of mine.”
And the piece de resistance of this remarkable soliloquy, Hansen quotes Audre Lorde:
“Civil rights activist Audre Lorde once said ‘it is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.'”
Who was the late, great Audre Lorde? She wasn’t just any old civil rights activist. She was a renowned, Black lesbian feminist, an extraordinarily prolific and widely acclaimed poet and was, according to a dear friend who knows her work well, “particularly important to dialogues between white and black feminists” as well as a leading light in “sex positive feminism.”
And Dale Hansen, 65-year old sportscaster down in Dallas, Texas, is quoting her as part of an honest, self-aware and heartfelt commentary on behalf of the man who may well become the first openly gay player in NFL history.
You can’t make this stuff up.