On the heels of Monday’s call by GLAAD that CNN analyst Roland Martin be fired for tweets he made during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the network has announced that Martin has been suspended.
Martin later issued an apology: “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.”
Martin initially explained the tweets, which GLAAD said encouraged violence against gay people, as tweaking soccer fans, but the network disagrees.
In a statement released minutes ago, CNN says “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. 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.”
From GLAAD: “CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD spokesperson. “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 it.”
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.”