ESPN Radio Host Dale Hansen Quits Over Ben Roethlisberger Muzzling: “I refuse to be anybody’s puppet”
This is Dale Hansen, formerly of ESPN Radio in Dallas. Last week, he spent 20 minutes on air talking about the rape allegations against Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. No, he didn’t get the memo. Well, at a commercial break he did. After the show, he penned his letter of resignation.
Last Wednesday Hansen somehow didn’t receive the directive from Bristol, Conn. and spent 20 minutes on his “Hour of Hansen” 6-7 p.m. show dissecting the ramifications before producers read him the office memo during a commercial break.
“The directive was the fuse, but the fact nobody told me was the match that lit it,” Hansen tells [the Dallas Observer]. “I don’t want to be identified with being one of ESPN’s puppets. I refuse to be anybody’s puppet. Well, Channel 8 might get to pull my strings but ESPN can’t do that for $2,000 a month.”
Hansen ignored Roethlisberger the final half-hour of his show and afterward sent an email to ESPN program director Tom Lee announcing his resignation.
Some will stand up and applaud Hansen. Some might even liken him to Jason Whitlock leaving ESPN a few years ago, guns blazing, after our interview with him. Others will mock the old man for quitting a job at a time when it’s impossible to find one. To be sure, the Roethlisberger muzzle wasn’t the only reason he quit – he had worked the last six months without a contract.
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