February 13, 2014

Dale Hansen: It's Time To Celebrate Our Differences (And Michael Sam)

Most of you have probably seen this already, but in case you have not ...

WFAA (Dallas) sports anchor Dale Hansen offered his comments on the recent news that college football star (and future NFL player) Michael Sam is gay:

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!
The full text of Hansen's comments is here.


allan said...

You can also torture and murder dogs and still be a hero.

laura k said...

Thanks for this (and for alluding to Michael Vick).

This is watershed moment. Something considered impossible a mere decade ago.

Liam said...

Michael Vick was kicked off his team, sent to prison, publicly atoned, worked with the Humane Society to spread awareness about dogfighting and was the subject of numerous articles wondering whether he should be allowed to even play football again. Maybe some thought him a hero because he was able to educate himself about the brutal practices of the culture he was raised with and rise above them? As a friend of mine noted: Michael Vick grew up in a neighborhood where PEOPLE'S lives didn't (and still don't) matter, and yet we're shocked, shocked, that he doesn't think much of brutalizing animals?

But the issue with Sam is that he's projected as a third to fifth round pic. He's 260 lbs, but no defensive end in the NFL weighs less than 270, so he's going to have to bulk up a bit more if he expets to stay at defensive end. So while he'll most certainly get drafted, he's not Andrew Luck. Or Lawrence Phillips. The latter was an unrepentant thug, but did you ever see him run? And therein lies part of the problem. Sam's a damn good college football player. But so was Tim Tebow. He's got a chance, a very good one, of going pro, but he's going to get so much press just because of his bedroom habits that some might be weary of the narrative that will arise if he just can't cut it, which is a possibility. No shame in that, as lots of players can't transition from the NCAA to the NFL. But a team that's struggling might not want to extra attention that will bring.

Look at Chris Klewe: He's insisted publicly that he was cut by the Vikings because of his views on SSM, neverminding that his replacement is younger and makes less money. I read many people championing him for saying what he did. Few bothered to point out he was easily (and cheaply) replaced.

laura k said...

Michael Vick was never punished for the torture and murder of animals. He was convicted for tax fraud.

Many people grow up in impoverished neighbourhoods and do not grow up to be animal torturers. That is a choice Vick made. Blaming "the culture he was raised with" is insulting to every African-American inner-city person who refrains from such disgusting practices.

Perhaps you are not aware of the extent of Michael Vick's depravities. "Dogfighting" does not begin to describe it.

He was the subject of numerous articles??? Oh, boo hoo!!! Imagine the shame, being the subject of articles.

laura k said...

I'm not the only one who thinks Vick's work with the Humane Society was a PR whitewash.

allan said...

...he's going to get so much press just because of his bedroom habits that some might be weary of the narrative that will arise...

None more than Sam, I'll bet.

Liam said...

I never excused Vick's behavior, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't extrapolate so ridiculously from my comments. That'd be like me insisting you'd only be satisfied if he was publicly drawn-and-quartered.

I merely pointed out that to some Vick has managed to rise above his past behavior. He's admitted his wrongdoings and tried to educate others. Perhaps it's an ephemeral anodyne, but only time will tell.

He is a convicted felon and did time in Leavenworth. No, he wasn't convicted of the crime you'd have liked, but he did time in a federal pen. Those are not fun.

As per the articles, I am not the one who called him, or said he was, a "hero." He was subjected to criminal prosecution and flayed in the court of public opinion. That people weren't outraged enough for your tastes is, in the immortal words of Jimmy Stewart, "just too damned bad." But you strike me as the kind of gal who, if Vick was seeing rescuing dogs from a burning building, you'd only remark it's too bad the flames didn't kill him.

Liam said...

Allan: I don't doubt it. It was a brave thing coming out when he did. I just hope he's ready for the media storm that's going to come.

laura k said...

After saying that you wish I wouldn't "extrapolate so ridiculously," you speculate: "But you strike me as the kind of gal who, if Vick was seeing rescuing dogs from a burning building, you'd only remark it's too bad the flames didn't kill him."

Indeed, I am not "that kind of gal". If Michael Vick or anyone else ever rescued dogs from a burning building, I would regard that as wonderful and heroic. And I would never wish for or celebrate anyone's death, ever.

Your speculation about me is unfounded and uncalled for.

It's also hypocritical, after admonishing me about such hyperbole in your first paragraph.

You'll note that I'm not the one who brought up Vick in this thread. I responded to your suggestion that (a) he paid his dues (I disagree, as he served no time whatsoever for these crimes) and (b) that his behaviour was the product of his culture, an idea I believe is racist and abhorrent.

I'll sign off from the discussion now. I wish Benajamin or Jere were around. They could probably argue with you without being accused of hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! The hypocrisy is unreal in American culture.

allan said...

"Michael Sam received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards during Missouri’s basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday."

laura k said...

So cool.

Liam said...

Clearly the irony of my closing comment was not properly conveyed. I thought the hyperbole obvious, and also absurd.

As per a) take it up with the prosecutors. But according to the NY Times (December 11, 2007), "Vick, 27, pleaded guilty in August to bankrolling a dogfighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels, and to helping kill six to eight dogs."

Regarding, b), yes, in the specific cultural milieu in which Vick was raised, dog-fighting was not the morally reprehensible practice that many others view it. My comment has nothing to do with race. Look into the issue and you'll find it exists the world over with no culture, ethnic group or even social class possessing a monopoly on the practice.

No one can deny that Vick suffered financially and legally because of his involvement with dogfighting. It seems your issue is with the [I]degree[/I] to which he suffered. So pick up the conch and tell me, in a perfect world, what should have happened to Vick?