UPDATE (February 8; 2:30pm): CNN announced Wednesday that it is suspending Roland Martin in the wake of the pundit’s controversial Super Bowl tweets. CNN has not officially made any statement about the controversy, and Martin was on the air for the network’s election coverage on Tuesday night.
CNN’s award-winning news anchor Roland Martin is in hot fire after sending out a controversial tweet during Sunday’s Super Bowl game. After an H&M commercial aired featuring a scantily clad David Beckham, Roland wrote a tweet: “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 has over 90,000 followers on Twitter and it wasn’t long before the backlash ensued from the gay community. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called on Roland’s employer CNN/Time Warner to fire him.
GLAAD responded on Twitter, “@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #Superbowl #LGBT.”
Martin fired back tweeting, “@glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you you’re way off base.”
The TV journalist also responded to a few other tweets saying his comment was meant to be a diss’ towards soccer fans and not gay men. I have to be honest here, this sounds like an easy cop out from Roland. Especially, if you consider that earlier in the day he had tweeted about a football fan in the stands comment.
Unfortunately in 2012, folks are rightfully sensitive about comments inciting violence towards the LGBT community. There is a fine line between freedom of speech and spewing hate speech. I predict a former apology from Roland Martin within the next day or so.
As the fire started to spread more with this petition, Martin took to Twitter today with an apology. He wrote “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.”
Last year, Tracy Morgan said during a stand-up routine that if his son were gay he would ‘stab him.’ Morgan later apologized and worked with GLAAD to send positive messages to parents and LGBT youth.
Morgan understood how his words could influence his fans and put youth in danger, while Martin defended Tracy Morgan’s original remarks.
What did you think about Roland’s comments? Should he apologize or was it all in good fun?