On Monday, Dale Hansen, sportscaster for the Dallas news station WFAA TV Channel 8, announced his support of gay NFL prospect Michael Sam's coming out and criticized those who spoke out against having a gay teammate on his show Hansen Unplugged in a clip that has now gone viral.
"I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay; I don't understand his world. But I do understand that he's part of mine," Hansen said. "Civil rights activist Audre Lord said: 'It is not our differences that divide us. It's our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.' We've always been able to recognize 'em. Some of us accept 'em. And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate 'em. I don't know if that day's here yet. I guess we're about to find out. But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it's time to celebrate him now."
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis joined former professional football player and You Can Play Executive Director Wade Davis in discussing Sam's coming out with mainstream media outlets this week. Check out some highlights here, including discussion about Michael Sam's unique opportunity to demonstrate to young LGBT people that they can grow up to be anything they want to be, including an NFL player. Sam will appear on the cover of the February 17 issue of Sports Illustrated and he has received support from team ownership of the New York Giants and New England Patriots, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, football great Deion Sanders, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and more.
Congratulations on leading the way, @MikeSamFootball. That's real sportsmanship.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 10, 2014