New Orleans talk radio station WWL is under fire for tweeting and then deleting a homophobic slur at one of its own hosts.
The tweet was directed at Seth Dunlap, who hosts the weeknight sports show “The Last Lap With Seth Dunlap” on WWL. Dunlap had recently come out as gay in a thoughtful open letter he posted to Facebook.
Dunlap was tweeting about the New Orleans Saints’ exciting Week 1 win when the main WWL Twitter account quote tweeted him and used a homophobic slur. The tweet was deleted, but nothing is ever gone for good on the internet.
The radio station tweeted about the incident several hours later, noting that an investigation had been started.
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.— WWL Radio (@WWLAMFM) September 11, 2019
Dunlap has remained unflappable through this whole episode, at least on social media. It started with his open letter, which focused on Drew Brees’s involvement with the anti-LGBTQ group Focus on the Family, and how LGBTQ hate and intolerance made him feel shame about his sexuality.
This is tough, but staying true to myself means empathizing & educating with the platform I have.— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 6, 2019
My Open Letter to @DrewBrees about why his “Focus on the Family” video, and his reaction today, was hurtful to many people, including me an openly gay man: https://t.co/QTNfTGbBDS
After WWL posted and then deleted the offensive tweet, Dunlap didn’t respond directly. But he did let everyone know that he was going to keep living his life no matter what anyone says about him.
I'm just going to really enjoy knowing somebody is exceptionally upset I get to talk sports every night for a living pic.twitter.com/z5zlvfZRH0— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 10, 2019
Dunlap didn’t mention the tweet directly during his Tuesday night show on WWL, but its presence was felt. According to Big Easy Magazine, he opened his show by talking about the Saints’ thrilling last-second win on Monday, and how a sports moment like that has the power to bring people together, regardless of who they are.
“White, Black, Latinx, men, women, straight, gay – nobody caring. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to be a part of something like that, it could be a truly religious experience. And that camaraderie, that togetherness, is what makes sports so special. We can set everything aside and just be ourselves.”
The Advocate reported that Dunlap also said that “the power of sport transforms the hate and divisiveness" that people experience — and then he played “Your Song” by Elton John.
In the wee small hours of Wednesday morning, Dunlap did tweet about it — but only to thank all the people who had reached out to him with love, kindness, and messages of support.
All of the comments and responses tonight mean a lot. Thank you for the kind words, funny memes, and amazingly awful pun attempts. ✌️❤️— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 11, 2019
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