February 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm EST | by Phil Reese
CNN suspends Roland Martin after tweets

CNN suspended political commentator Roland Martin Wednesday, a day after the pundit apologized to anyone who may have “construed” his Super Bowl night tweets about an underwear ad as being aimed at the gay community.

In a statement, CNN said, “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.”

During Sunday’s Super Bowl, Martin tweeted, “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,” as well as “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.”

After criticism from some LGBT groups, Martin apologized Tuesday.
“To those who construed my comment as being anti-gay or homophobic or advancing violence, I’m truly sorry,” Martin wrote. “I can certainly understand how someone could come to a different conclusion than the one I meant. 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. Violence against gay people or against any other minority isn’t a political opinion.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation assailed Martin and called on CNN to fire him.

“At a time when anti-gay violence is something suffered by LGBT people and those perceived as LGBT people in this country every day, prominent figures like Martin should condemn, not promote, such violence,” GLAAD responded to Martin in a statement. GLAAD has created a hub for information about the dust-up.

GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition have called on Martin and CNN to take steps to combat the sort of anti-LGBT violence that the organizations say Martin’s tweets promote.

Last year, Martin — who once advocated for “ex-gay” therapy in response to Rev. Al Sharpton’s call for unity between LGBT and African-American communities — defended violent, anti-gay jokes by comedian Tracy Morgan, who said he would “take out a knife and stab” his son if he were gay. Morgan later apologized for the joke and worked with GLAAD to address violence that gay and lesbian people face, a scenario later lampooned tactfully on his NBC sitcom ’30 Rock’ last month.

GLAAD noted that not a day after Martin’s tweets, a video appeared of a young man being brutally assaulted and called anti-gay epithets. The Blade linked to the extremely disturbing video of that assault on Tuesday.

“This is what ‘smacking the ish’ out of someone for being gay can look like,” GLAAD commented.

“The time has come for Roland Martin to put actions behind his words,” GLAAD wrote. “We call on him to meet with GLAAD and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address anti-LGBT violence faces communities all across the country.”


  • THIS SUSPENSION IS A CROCK OF BULL…That comment was a personal comment made about boys night out and HIS FRIEND. They took it and put a spin on it abd did to you what tgey did to Holly Robinson for having a VOICE! SUSPENDED YOU FOR NOTHIN!…That’s like one of my girly girls saying I’m strickly Lovin Men…BUT Kept constantly talking about how HOT MADONNA Looked at HALF TIME…ID PROPALLY TWEET SOMETHING SIMULAR..WITH NO PUN INTENDED! THID HAS TOTALLY UPSET ME IN THE WORSE WAY… THEY WORRY ABOUT THIS..BUT NOT THE RACIAL REMARKS MADE ON THESE SO CALL CAMPAIGN TRAILS! GIMME A BREAK!

  • Obviously this has touched something for you. His remarks were fairly direct about what he meant. His records shows how he feels. I think the suspension of letting him off easy.

  • What the hell? If Roland had tweeted about “rape fun” or “slapping the ish” out of some slut that he was mad at, would everyone be screaming that he was just joking? He has a long history of anti-gay remarks and his wife even stepped in and tweeted some horrific stuff today trying to pit African-Americans against gays – as if to hype them up to attack and possibly murder any ‘fags’ who had dared stand up to her husband. Why isn’t that being reported on?

  • I think Roland’s response was pathetic. Roland should admit that he is a homophobe. He goes around making accusations of how unfair America is towards black people, yet he can make comments about gay people. Now he is saying he was talking about soccer players, basically calling them gay. I think he should just say that he is a moron and homophobe. People like Roland have made careers out calling people racists, yet they hold their own discriminating beliefs. Roland’s comments did nothing to help gay people, and I hope the black community condemns him for his beliefs. Plus did you see that photo of him with the pink scarf around his neck, very interesting…….

  • just read wifey’s comment about not walking in unity, that gay people should not ask black people for any help. Does she know that gay people are also black? And asking for what help? The gay community is doing fine advancing their efforts without the NAACP and some other “black only” institutions. I think Roland should be fired for marrying her, but that won’t happen. So fire him for his homophobic remarks and teach him a lesson.

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