Last September — as more National Football League players began kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner in a form of silent, respectful civil-rights protest, and the President of the United States called those players sons of bitches and suggested deportation — Dale Hansen spoke out about on the controversial topic. The NFL recently announced a new policy: players who wish to take the field must stand for the anthem. It likely earned him more love and more hate than any other of his Unplugged segments (‘except perhaps the time he took on the gun control topic), and he’s had some doozies.
In this newscast he sided with silently protesting players.
“They and all of us should protest how black Americans are treated in this country,” he said. Responses ranged from fans telling him he should run for president to angry Facebook posts calling him a fat, irrelevant old man, he told reporters after his lecture went viral.
The one that landed him on the “Ellen”show — here he stood up for Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player. Certain Sam would have have been drafted higher if not for his coming out, Hansen addresses hypocrisy, pointing out that players who have committed criminal acts are welcome in locker rooms, however, “If you love another man, you’ve gone too far,” he says sardonically.
“I may not understand his world, but I do understand he’s part of mine,” Hansen said before quoting civil rights activist Audre Lorde, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.”
After the Dallas Police shootings last summer, Hansen conceded that “The officers who abuse their power should be punished,” referring to unjust police killings of black men. “But this was not just an attack on our Dallas Police it was an attack on our basic humanity.”
He also calls the Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, who blamed the shootings on Black Lives Matter protesters “a fool.”
When he last talked about school shootings. Dale Hansen has balls of steel; anyone who addresses gun safety, gun regulation, gun control around here must.
Though he has received death threats in the past, he refuses to shirk the topic.
The other night, when he choked up after seeing a photo of a childhood best friend who was killed in Viet Nam, was there anyone who didn’t just want to give him a hug?
“I’m bound to get over it someday,” he said, “but I’m not over it yet.”