Hansen, who has been with his television station WFAA for over 30 years, received a standing ovation from host Ellen DeGeneres, her staff and the entire audience when walking out for the show on Valentine’s Day. First paying tribute to his wife as a massive Ellen fan, Hansen said he couldn’t believe the reaction his statements received after they were aired.
“It wasn’t a brave thing. It wasn’t a great thing I did. The brave thing and the great thing is what Michael Sam did,” he said.
DeGeneres responded: “I agree but I think it was so great. It was written so well. It was eloquent.”
Hansen said he felt compelled to speak out because of the hypocrisy surrounding the situation.
“That’s where the hypocrisy of this whole argument drove me nuts. I mean, I’m uncomfortable when a 7 foot 2 guy from the NBA comes into my office. I’m uncomfortable there sometimes,” he said.
“I was a little concerned about that line, that it would be misunderstood. But I wanted to show people that I was speaking from my heart and that I was being as honest as I could.
“I just wanted to slam the hypocrisy of the NFL.
“I have gotten calls from Christians – some who don’t like me now – atheists, old people, young people, black, white, Jewish, Catholic.
“Every spectrum of America and almost every state in the union has called and the response has been so incredibly overwhelming positive that I think there is a pretty good future. If not for me, for my children and grandchildren.”
Hansen made headlines late last week following one of his Dale Hansen: Unplugged segments where he unleashed on the NFL and the sports world for attacking Sam’s decision to publicly come out as gay only months before the NFL draft. If selected in May, as widely expected, Sam would become the first professional active sportsman in the USA’s four major sporting codes to be openly-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,” Hansen said in the memorable salvo.
“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.
“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 he believed his comments took off on social media and elsewhere because it came from “an old, fat, white guy” and many people weren’t expecting it because of stereotypes about Texas.
WATCH DALE HANSEN ON ELLEN