Dallas sportscaster, known for his ‘Unplugged’ commentaries, retires

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Dale Hansen, who has been a sportscaster at WFAA in Dallas for 38 years who also became known for his social commentary segments signed off from the station Sept. 2, 2021.

Hansen had been the station’s main sports anchor and sports director, appearing on the station’s 10 p.m. show as well as a Sunday sports special.

He had announced in May 2021 that he was retiring later in the year.

Despite being a sportscaster in a big sports town, Hansen became known on both the local and national stage for his “Unplugged” commentary segments where he would comment on current issues and events, often ones with a sports tie-in but sometimes broader he focus.

WFAA would always clearly label his segments as commentary and included a digital version of his signature as part of the segment’s intro.

He spoke up for gay and Black athletes, including supporting some players’ choice to kneel during the national anthem amidst the controversy over #TakeAKnee. He’s also spoken out about domestic violence and sexual abuse, even admitting he is a survivor of the latter.

In addition to his commentary, Hansen also used his platform to spotlight the death of a child each holiday season as well as recognizing student athletes. He is also active with several local charities. 

Hansen’s commentaries are notable for taking on what many would describe as a more left leaning stance, which could be viewed as risky when going against what most believe is a more conservative sports viewer base in the market.

In addition to his commentary, Hansen was responsible for uncovering a massive scandal at Southern Methodist University involving alleged payments to players. He won a Peabody for that work, which also lead the NCAA canceling the school’s entire football season as a penalty for the payment scheme.