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Texas sports anchor shocks nation with non-stereotypical response to gay NFL prospect

Alex Bentley
Dale Hansen of WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas
Dale Hansen's well-reasoned argument for NFL teams drafting gay player Michael Sam led to use of stereotypical headlines across the Internet. Photo courtesy of WFAA

If you've been on Facebook since Tuesday morning, you've likely seen the video of Dallas-based sports anchor Dale Hansen taking to task those who would oppose gay football player Michael Sam.

But the reason it's gone viral isn't merely because Hansen, who's known for his strong opinions, called out the hypocrisy evident in the front offices of many NFL teams. Many others have done that, including a very similar, if funnier, piece by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

 Hansen's well-reasoned argument in favor of gay rights goes against good ol' boy rants. 

No, Hansen's speech has gained notoriety because websites claim to be shocked — shocked! — that a sports anchor from Texas would stand up for gay rights in such a manner. Among the headlines used have been "Texas Sports Anchor Delivers Jaw-Dropping Speech On Gay NFL Players" and "Dallas sportscaster's shocking response to Michael Sam coming out as gay."

Call it the ol' bait-and-switch: They reel you in expecting to hear a good ol' boy ranting about how gay people will ruin the NFL, only to find a well-reasoned and thoughtful argument espousing the opposite.

Yes, that's typical Internet behavior, but it's also more than a little sad. The stereotype of Texans being intolerant is apparently so ingrained elsewhere in the country that it's the go-to thought process when anyone "dares" to show their own tolerance.

News flash, America: Not all Texans are alike. We won't pigeonhole you if you promise not to stick all of us in the same box in the future. Deal?

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