Seth Dunlap

Seth Dunlap, the WWL radio sports host who was plunged into controversy earlier this week when someone with access to the station's official Twitter account used a gay slur against him, has announced he's taking an indefinite leave of absence from WWL, effective today.

WWL-AM, which has only released one tweeted statement about the incident, saying the station was investigating, has not said anything about Dunlap's leave of absence.

The page for Dunlap's weeknight radio show, "The Last Lap With Seth Dunlap," is still up on the station's website.

The offensive tweet, which was targeted at Dunlap after he published an essay about his life as a gay man covering sports, was later deleted by the station — but not before being screencapped and shared on social media.

Dunlap's story has spread to national and international news and sports sites, drawing wide support on social media.

Dunlap’s leave of absence came as WWL radio management is conducting an investigation involving “everyone who has had access to the station’s Twitter account, now or ever,” a source with knowledge of the situation said.

It's not clear when that probe may be completed or how far along it may be.

Several employees currently have access to the Twitter account, and some who are no longer there had access to it as well at one point. 

But, the source said, station employees are eager for the investigation to wrap up and for whomever sent the tweet to be identified, in part so that online speculation as to who may be responsible ceases.

“There’s no reason anybody speaking on behalf of WWL would have an interest in hurting Seth like that or WWL like that,” the source said.

Dunlap, the same source said, had worked his way up from the sales department to getting time on air to hosting his own show — all the while being openly gay. The source pointed out how Dunlap hasn't been the only openly gay show host in the station's history, saying David Tyree also hosted a show at the station before his death from cancer in 2005.

“We love Seth. The accusations people are making that this was an official attack on him (by the station) are hurtful and incorrect,” the source said. “He’s grown through the ranks. He’s been promoted and given greater exposure. There’s never been a problem with his being gay.”

Dunlap did not return a message seeking comment. No one answered the phone at WWL senior vice president Kevin Cassidy's extension.

— This story is developing.

Follow Kevin Allman on Twitter: @kevinallman

Email Gambit editor Kevin Allman at: kevina@gambitweekly.com.