CNN contributor Roland S. Martin was accused of bullying and encouraging violence against the LGBT community after tweeting on Sunday that any man at a Super Bowl party who’s psyched for David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad should be smacked, posted his final thoughts on the controversy to his website last night.
“That is furthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused,” he wrote. “I have consistently said on television, radio, and in print, that I am steadfast against bullying.”
He maintained that his tweets were directed at soccer fans and not related to anyone’s sexuality. “To those who construed my comment as being anti-gay or homophobic or advancing violence, I’m truly sorry. I can certainly understand how someone could come to a different conclusion than the one I meant,” he said. “I’m disheartened that my words would embolden prejudice. While public debate over social issues is healthy, no matter which side someone takes, there is no room for debate as to whether we need to be respectful of others.”
GLAAD issued this response: “Yesterday afternoon a video of a young man being brutally assaulted after exiting a grocery store was posted on LGBT news sites. As they beat and kicked the man, his attackers screamed “Fa**ot” and other anti-gay slurs. Watch the video below. This is what ‘smacking the ish’ out of someone for being gay can look like. Speaking out against anti-LGBT violence on his site is a start, but Martin should use his other platforms to fight against the very things he says he himself experienced.”