CNN commentator Roland Martin has come under fire by gay rights advocates and GLAAD — the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — for perceived homophobic Twitter “tweets” following an advertisement of retailer H&M’s Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer player David Beckham.
In the tweet, Martin said, “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”
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
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) February 6, 2012
GLAAD and many other LGBT advocates were quick to pounce on Martin, and in response, GLAAD tweeted: “.@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT”
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 6, 2012
Since making the comments, Martin has suggested his tweet regarding David Beckham was intended as a slight toward soccer fans, and responded to GLAAD with, “well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.”
Following is the H&M ad that started the fury:
GLAAD has since launched a petition drive calling on CNN to fire Martin, and said his tweets are part of a pattern of behavior, and a “window into Martin’s anti-gay views.”
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.
Wrote Martin: “Say I’m wrong. Fine. Say I’m insensitive to gays and lesbians. Fine.”
Martin also has used his platform to misrepresent religious views about LGBT people. Far from the church being uniformly anti-gay, as Martin has claimed, LGBT people are welcomed just as they are into the full life of the church, in congregations and entire denominations across the United States. […]
On Martin’s website he ignores the medical evidence about the ineffective nature and harms associated with so-called ex-gay programs and instead praises his wife who he says “has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle.”
Blogger Rod McCullom points out that in a controversial 2009 CNN.com column “Miss California, Thanks for Being Honest,” Martin slammed “gay-focused blogs” and defended anti-gay Miss California Carrie Prejean because “she has been savagely attacked” for speaking the “truth.”
Martin also attends the Chicago mega-church of anti-gay pastor and State. Sen. Rev. James Meeks — Meeks has called homosexuality “an evil sickness” and was the only black legislator voting against Illinois‘ civil unions bill.
Earlier Monday, Martin addressed GLAAD’s outrage, and issued a statement denying his tweets were directed at anyone’s sexuality:
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.
Although he responded to several other tweets, Martin did not respond to a question from Metro Weekly about why, if the tweet was about soccer and not based in anti-gay sentiment, he only referenced his concern about “a dude … hyped” about the very sexual ad.