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Dale Hansen, the Texas sportscaster who has become an unlikely progressive ally, voted yesterday for the first time in 46 years.

The 70-year-old sports anchor first made headlines in 2014 when he defended Michael Sam following Sam’s coming out, before he was the first openly gay player in the NFL. The WFFA weeknight anchor has again become the topic of conversation with his newest segment of “Hansen Unplugged,” which broadcast on Oct. 22.

In his new segment, Hansen unpacks why he is voting for the first time in nearly half a century, and why we should all be engaged members of the electorate this November.

“I voted in Waxahachie today, took advantage of the early voting to cast my first ballot since 1972,” the segment begins. “I’m not telling you how I voted, I’m just telling you why I did.”

“Until today, I hadn’t voted in 46 years for a lot of reasons, and some I still believe,” Hansen continued. “I never wanted to be that person that voted for the lesser of two evils, but I’ve learned now that if you don’t vote for the lesser of two evils, the most evil person can win.”

Hansen’s then launched into a passioned defense of this country and the values that underscore it.

“There is a reason people will walk across a desert to get to America. Because we are the country where everyone has a voice and everyone plays a role. But we are starting to lose that now,” the segment continues. “When people marching under a Nazi flag and chanting ‘Jews will not replace us,’ are described as some good people, no one who should, objects.”

He goes on to explain many of the issues, as he sees them, in our national politics.

“No one ever gets everything they want, and probably no one should. But we have to be better, and we can be,” Hansen said. “I don’t know if my vote will make a difference, I doubt that it will. And it won’t fix everything that I think is wrong. But I know I have to try, and you should too.

“Thomas Jefferson said the government you elect, is the government you deserve. I think you deserve better. And it only gets better, when we all play a role.”

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.