Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Favorite Sportscaster Strikes Again, This Time Taking On Texas Racism

WFAA-TV sportscaster Dale Hansen brilliantly
unpacks what's behind a racist moment during
a high school basketball game in a Texas suburb  
I rarely pay attention to sports in Texas. I don't search out sports anchors on Texas television stations.

With the exception of Dale Hansen. The sports desk chief at WFAA-TV in Dallas is brilliant.

I first saw him in action a little over a year ago, when football player Michael Sam came out as gay.

Hansen, a gruff white-haired no-nonsense type of guy, had a perfect reaction to people who were appalled that a football player was gay.

Basically he wondered how men who assault women, drive drunk and kill other people on the road, are caught with prostitutes in hotel rooms and that type of thing are welcome in the NFL, but a guy who says he loves another man goes too far.

Hansen said this in conservative Texas, by the way.

Our sportscaster Hansen is back again. This time, a high school basketball game in suburban Flower Mound, Texas featured teenagers holding two signs next to each other as their school faced off against a predominately black team.

One sign said "White." The other said "Power."


Hansen was back on WFAA last week with another excellent rant over this one. As Talking Points Memo noted, he blasted prents in Flower Mound who said the signs were just an accidental paring of signs alongside each other.

He remembed as a kid growing up in Iowa, his father would always call black people the n-word, but still spoke highly of a black family in the town that everyone knew and liked. He said his mind was twisted by his father's casual dismissal of African-Americans, and parents in Flower Mound were doing the same.

"Kids have to be taught to hate it's our parents and grandparents, and our teachers and coaches, too, who teach us to hate....Kids become the product of that environment. I was. And they are.

"I changed and they can, too. But not if we try to defend what you cannot defend and not if we stay silent and think taking their signs away is doing enough.

"the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them," Hansen concluded, quoting Albert Einstein.

Predictably, the comments section of the YouTube video of Hansen's editorial is full of racist, ignorant comments, but at least there are some thoughtful ones, too.

I'm also happy when sportscasters like Hansen focus on the ethics and morals of people in sports. A lot of people look up to athletes as role models. That's a cliche, but a true one. So they ought to be held to some sort of standard.

When Hansen finished his on-air discussion, one of the other anchors said Hanson was sure to end up with a very full email in box. I'm sure that's true.

Somehow, I doubt Hansen will mind all that much.

Here's the video, totally worth watching:

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