“Someone has to find a better answer”
When Mack Beggs won the Texas Girls High School Wrestling championship, he wasn’t looking for fame. He was looking for a shot at the boys’ title, since the wrestler, born female, identifies as such. Instead, he found himself as another face in the controversies surrounding transgender rights and classification.
Fortunately, Mack has found a powerful ally in Dallas-based sportscaster Dale Hansen, who’s known nationally for offering poignant editorials when sports and social issues collide. Last night, Hansen took a few minutes on-air to offer his thoughts and...exasperation.
Texas law currently forces athletes to compete as the sex given on their birth certificate and Hansen’s argument for Mack to wrestle other boys is cloaked in ideology, but it remains a practical one. Mack began his transition in 2015 and, as Hansen puts it, “Mack’s been taking testosterone...and it shows.” This isn’t fair to the girls he wrestles just as it isn’t fair to him to be categorized as something he doesn’t feel he is – a female. It would be a different discussion if this was a transgender teen born a boy wanting to compete against girls, but that’s not the case here.
Hansen doesn’t proclaim to have an answer for the handling of gender identity in sports, offering only “That’s way above my pay grade.” But he does insist “someone has to find a better answer than we’re being given now.”
This isn’t Hansen’s first foray into social controversies in sports. In 2014, he made national news from his local station by offering his thoughts on the falling NFL draft position of openly gay Missouri football player Michael Sam.
Sports figures are often told to “stay in their lane” when it comes to offering opinions on social issues, but Hansen seems to be at his very best when he drifts out.