CNN suspends Roland Martin for Super Bowl tweets

GLAAD demanding commentator be fired for tweets it views as homophobic

CNN suspends Roland Martin for Super Bowl tweets
08 February 2012

CNN commentator Roland Martin has been taken off the air 'for the time being' in the wake of a Twitter controversy that occurred on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has been calling for Martin's firing for tweets he wrote during the Super Bowl about an H&M advertisement featuring soccer star David Beckham.

They included: 'Ain't no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear.'

He also tweeted to his more than 95,000 followers: 'If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!'

GLAAD said the Super Bowl incident is part of a pattern of 'anti-LGBT rhetoric' from Martin and not simply a mistake made on Twitter.

CNN did not comment on the controversy until issuing a statement today (8 February) announcing the commentator's suspension.

'Roland Martin's tweets were regrettable and offensive,' the network said in a statement. 'Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.'

GLAAD applauded the action taken by CNN.

'CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,' said GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro. 'Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to.'

Martin had taken to his blog on Monday to try and quell the controversy explaining he was not refering to anyone's sexuality directly or indirectly and was 'sorry folks took it otherwise.'

On Tuesday, he issued a more detailed apology which he titled 'Final Thoughts on the Super Bowl Twitter Controversy.'

It read in part: 'As someone who has spoken out forcefully against bigotry against African Americans and other minorities, as well as sexism against women, I fully understand how a group who has been unfairly treated would be offended by such comments, and, again, I am sorry for any offense my remarks caused.'

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