Dale Hansen, back in the national spotlight again for his unplugged take on NFL players protesting police brutality, was profiled today in the New York Times.
The paper visited the outspoken Channel 8 sports broadcaster at his ranch in Waxahachie to find out how the “white-haired grandfather who hasn’t voted since 1972” became a fixture on social media feeds around the world. At least part of his viral popularity is, as Hansen puts it, the surprise of a “fat, old, white sports guy” on TV acting against type and defending progressive causes.
The riffs have made Hansen something of an outlier: a local newsman with a national voice, a champion for social issues in a stick-to-sports world, a liberal voice in a deeply red state that’s as passionate about its sports as it is its politics.
Here in Texas, mixing those two religions is nearly a sin, but the cocky Hansen revels in taking on sacred cows, saying, “Oh, well, I’m agnostic anyway.”
There are a lot of good bits in the story, including Hansen’s not-so-diverse upbringing. Perhaps most importantly, we learn the name of Hansen’s mini donkey, Edward R. Burro, referencing the legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and the Spanish word for donkey.