A tweet containing a homophobic slur was directed at Dunlap from the Twitter account of the radio station he has worked for since 2011.
New Orleans sports radio talk show host Seth Dunlap announced on Thursday that he will be taking a leave of absence from WWL AM/FM after a homophobic slur was directed at him from the station's official Twitter account.
The offensive message was sent to Dunlap after the host wrote an open letter to Saints quarterback Drew Brees, in which he expressed how Brees aligning himself with conservative groups impacts Dunlap, who is openly gay.
Brees appeared in a "Bring Your Bible to School Day" promotional advertisement on behalf of the activist group, Focus on the Family, an organization known for its anti-LGBTQ stance. Brees said he was unaware that the advertisement was for an organization "lobbying for anti-gay, any type of messaging for inequality of any type of hate-type related stuff." He then made an additional effort to address criticisms directed his way and to clarify his comments to the media with a video shared to Instagram.
"I'd like to set the record straight. I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is: Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself." Brees went on to explain that he loves, respects and accepts all “no matter your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation, your political beliefs" and that he did not support "any groups that discriminate or have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality."
Dunlap penned his letter to Brees on Sept. 5, the same day that the advertisement aired. The tweet containing the homophobic slur was sent five days later on Sept.10. Dunlap has worked at WWL since 2011.
"I will be taking a leave of absence from my shows at WWL effective immediately," Dunlap said. "I informed the station of my decision earlier this afternoon. This decision was deeply personal and certainly not easy to make. I need to do what's best for me and also what I feel is right. Thanks to the many people inside and outside the organization who have shown their support over the past couple of days. There are many people working at WWL and Entercom who are wonderful people, and have been unfairly swept up in this."
He continued: "Most importantly, to all of the LGBTQ+ people out there please know that your voices are being heard. I have tried hard to not make this about me because, truthfully, it's not. It's about a culture of hate and bigotry that has proliferated recently in our society. I look forward to speaking more about this incident soon. Don't worry, I'm not going away. I am just taking time to decide what's best for my career, but also for my life away from the microphone. "
Thanks to the many people inside and outside the organization who have shown their support over the past couple of days. There are many people working at WWL and Entercom who are wonderful people, and have been unfairly swept up in this.— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
I look forward to speaking more about this incident soon. Don't worry, I'm not going away. I am just taking time to decide what's best for my career, but also for my life away the microphone. ✌️❤️— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 12, 2019
The offending tweet has since been deleted, but several Twitter users took a screenshot before it was taken down.
Dunlap initially seemed to brush the offensive remark off, tweeting, "I'm just going to really enjoy knowing somebody is exceptionally upset I get to talk sports every night for a living."
The station issued a statement in response, saying, "We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account. The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station. We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred."
According to The Advocate, the station is still investigating the incident.