Texas sports anchor Dale Hansen came to the defense of a transgender teen athlete in a two-minute address that’s worthy of repeat viewings.
The WFAA-TV reporter didn’t mince words when it came to Mack Beggs, who was thrust into the national spotlight Feb. 25 after winning a state girls’ wrestling title. Though Beggs, 17, identifies as male and takes testosterone as part of the gender confirmation process, he was required by state regulations to compete according to his birth sex.
And Hansen wasn’t having any of it. “Maybe I just hoped that in 2017, we would be done arguing about birth certificates, but obviously we’re not,” he said in the Monday broadcast, which can be viewed above. “Somebody has to find a better answer than what we’re being given now.”
In 2014, Hansen offered similar sentiments on behalf of Michael Sam, the first openly gay man to be drafted by the NFL. “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,” he said at the time.
He doubled down on those remarks once more in his defense of Beggs, noting that “transitioning is a struggle I cannot imagine. It is a journey I could not make.” He said that Beggs “needs our support, and he does not a group of old men in Austin telling him who to wrestle because of a genetic mixup at birth... He’s a child, simply looking for his place in the world and a chance to compete in the world.”
WFAA-TV uploaded the video of Hansen’s remarks to Facebook, where it had received over 647,000 views as of Thursday afternoon.
Montel Williams and Sarah McBride were among the fans who applauded Hansen’s words on Twitter.
No word from Beggs on Hansen’s remarks just yet, but in a Wednesday interview with The Dallas Morning News, the teen said he was surprised at the national attention his story had received.
“This is nuts,” he said, acknowledging that his case was just part of a “bigger, more complex situation” in sports. “My masculinity doesn’t define who I am. I define who I am,” he added.