It’s now been six days since a homophobic slur, which originated from the WWL New Orleans website, was aimed at WWL sports talker Seth Dunlap. Entercom still has not announced who made the tweet or how it was posted. We do know that Entercom told Dunlap not to say anything about it before he took himself off the air. He then huddled with his attorney which was followed by an announcement that he was taking a leave of absence and a statement late Friday.
In the statement, Dunlap explains how the offensive tweet — from the station’s Twitter account — has made being an openly gay sportscaster in the Deep South exponentially harder, saying he never wanted to be “That Gay Sportscaster.”
Dunlap says that his leave of absence should not be seen as “letting bigotry win,” but rather a practical move for his mental well-being. He also unselfishly says that this incident is more about the wider LGBT+ community and all the challenges it faces, not just about one man.
He also alludes to the social and political climate in America right now: “I truly believe this targeted attack was, in part, the result of deteriorating civil discourse in our country. Powerful men and women have decided to make hate, bigotry, and divisiveness platforms for their advancement in public life.” He goes on to encourage the LGBTQ+ community to never be afraid to speak out when subjected to such attacks.
On a more encouraging note, Dunlap refers to the “outpouring of love and support from all across the world this week.”
He ends the statement by saying: “In the short term, I would ask that you respect my privacy and process, and direct your questions instead to my attorney, Megan C. Kiefer.”