*Journalist Richard Prince is reporting that CNN “is weighing its response” to gay activists who are calling for Roland Martin to be fired for his Super Bowl tweets that they interpreted as anti-gay.
Martin denied the tweets were homophobic but acknowledged that they were intended to be “over the top.”
On Sunday night, after the game, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said in a statement, “Twice on Sunday, Martin joked about violence against men who could be perceived as gay – once for wearing pink clothing, once for being interested in an ad showing a scantily-clad man. And we know how he feels about the LGBT community.”
“This isn’t a mistake made on twitter,” GLAAD Director of Communications Rich Ferraro said in the statement. “It’s part of a pattern of anti-LGBT rhetoric that culminated in two tweets yesterday promoting violence towards gay people. The time has come when CNN and Time Warner have to decide whether they want to continue to use their platforms to elevate those who use such language.”
Following retailer H&M’s Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer player David Beckham, CNN’s Roland Martin tweeted to almost 95,000 followers: ‘If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl’ ”
GLAAD responded to the tweet with: “@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT”
Martin then replied, “@glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.”
GLAAD also said, “. . . Earlier today, Martin posted to his Facebook fan page: ‘Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.”
On Monday, Martin addressed the controversy on his website: “. . . 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.”
However, GLAAD cited support for its position from an organization of African American gays. “‘Even if he meant it in a jovial manner, Roland Martin’s words carry a real impact on the everyday lives of black LGBT people, especially our youth,’ said Sharon Lettman, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black LGBT civil rights organization. ‘Given the number of rash murders, attacks and violent acts involving LGBT people of color, we cannot let statements such as this go unchecked. Silence is a form of acceptance and only perpetuates the problem.’ ”
Late Monday, Martin issued a more sober statement that he labeled his “final thoughts” on the subject, noting that “In fact, I was bullied in school, and watched another middle schooler [pull] a knife on my father when he boarded our school bus and came to the defense of me and my brother. My position has been unequivocal on this issue, and will remain so.”
GLAAD said early Tuesday that it would respond to Martin’s latest statement later in the day.
Read Richard Prince’s entire article at The Root.