CNN suspended political analyst Roland Martin on Wednesday for “offensive” tweets during the Super Bowl that some critics said were anti-gay.
Martin commented on Twitter about a commercial during the Super Bowl that showed soccer star David Beckham in underwear: “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said the remark advocated violence against gays. Martin said that he was making a joke about soccer and that he doesn’t support violence against anyone.
Martin also tweeted: “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from (hash)teamwhipdatass.”
Martin later issued an apology on his website saying he was “truly sorry” to those who felt his tweet was anti-gay, homophobic or advocating violence. “I’m disheartened that my words would embolden prejudice,” he said.
CNN said Wednesday that Martin’s remarks were “regrettable and offensive” and he will not be on air “for the time being.”
“Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated,” CNN said.
GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said CNN “took a strong stand” against demeaning language and anti-gay violence. He said GLAAD looked forward to discussing the network’s decision with CNN and Martin.