CNN suspends Martin for anti-gay tweets


CNN today announced it was suspending commentator Roland Martin for a series of tweets he sent during the Super Bowl.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had sought some action from CNN and Martin following the incident on Feb. 5.

On Feb. 7, Martin issued an apology, and on Feb. 8 CNN issued a statement: “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.”

GLAAD responded with praise for CNN.

“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro. “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 it.”

On Feb. 5, 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”

• “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”

Martin attempted to explain his first tweet by writing that he “was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I’m sorry folks took it otherwise.”

Commenting on the issuer earlier this week, Sharon Lettman-Hick of the National Black Justice Coalition, said, “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. 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.”