CNN Analyst Roland Martin Suspended Following Controversial Super Bowl Tweets
UPDATED: Calling the remarks about David Beckham's H&M ad "regrettable and offensive," the network suspends the commentator accused of encouraging violence against gay men.
After apologizing for what he called a misunderstanding, Roland Martin is out at CNN.
The network announced Wednesday afternoon that the analyst would be suspended for the foreseeable future.
"Roland Martin's tweets were regrettable and offensive," reads the 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."
Prompting all of the furor was Martin's Twitter commentary on Super Bowl commercials, particularly one about the underwear clad David Beckham.
"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad," he wrote, "smack the ish out of him!"
GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) immediately responded by demanding his removal from the news network, though Martin insisted that his tweet was not a homophobic encouragement of violence -- but a dig at soccer fans.
"Let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday," he wrote. "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."
The apology was not enough to satisfy those calling for his removal. Following CNN's news, GLADD responded by applauding the network's actions.
“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro in a statement. “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 has not yet addressed his suspension, but in keeping with his mea culpa, he linked to a story about the victim of an anti-gay beating on his blog, RolandMartinReports.com.