CNN suspends Roland Martin for
wearing ascots making alleged homophobic remarks
First Rick Sanchez and now Roland Martin?
The world of journalism was thrust into a state of shock Wednesday afternoon when CNN pulled Martin, a political contributor to the network, off the air for “the time being” for a tweet he published during the Super Bowl which a gay advocacy group said was homophobic.
“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” CNN 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.”
During the Super Bowl, Martin felt a sudden urge to let the world know his thoughts on a risqué underwear ad featuring soccer star David Beckham.
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!,” Martin tweeted.
The gay advocacy group GLAAD responded soon thereafter, accusing Martin of “gay bashing.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the entertainment world)
“@rolandmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN,” the organization tweeted in response.
Martin defended himself, saying GLAAD simply didn’t know what it was talking about.
“@glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base,” he retorted on Twitter.
Martin attempted to further explain his remarks to his “Fam” the following day.
“Fam, let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday,” he said.
“I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I’m sorry folks took it otherwise. It was meant to be a deliberately over the top and sarcastic crack about soccer; I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not. As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, anytime soccer comes up during football season it’s another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more.”
GLAAD had called on CNN to fire Martin.
In October 2010, CNN host Rick Sanchez was fired by the network for comments some perceived as being anti-Semitic. Since his release, not a single CNN host or contributor has been willingly tasered live on air.