CNN has suspended Roland Martin three days after the analyst made questionable, homophobic comments on his Twitter page during the Super Bowl.
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, CNN said in a statement obtained by Entertainment Weekly.
On Monday, Martin, 43, took to his personal Web page to issue his Final Thoughts on Super Bowl-Twitter Controversy.
Based on several tweets I made on my Twitter feed on Super Bowl Sunday yesterday, I have been accused by members of the LGBT community of being supportive of violence against gays and lesbians and bullying. This is the farthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused, Martin wrote.
The tweets under close watch center around a steamy David Beckham H&M underwear ad that aired during the Super Bowl. The commercial shows the famous soccer star modeling his new line of underwear, wearing a piece from the collection.
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If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! Martin on Twitter Sunday evening.
His followers on Twitter and beyond, including the eyes of GLAAD, took note.
@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay pashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT, GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, wrote on its official Twitter page.
GLAAD then launched a campaign called Enough is enough: tell CNN to fire Roland Martin, with a petition that drew more than 2,000 signatures.
Martin was also criticized earlier on Sunday for a Twitter post commenting on a New England Patriot.
Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdata**, he wrote.
As Giants and Patriots fans woke from their hangovers on Monday morning, Martin found himself defending his comments, stressing that his Super Bowl Twitter fiasco had nothing to do with the LGBT community, but to do with his dislike for soccer.
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 . . . anytime soccer comes up during football season it's another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more, he wrote on his Web site on Monday.
In the wake of Martin's suspension, GLAAD released its own statement on Wednesday.
CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community . . . we look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and to achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it, said Rich Ferraro, a spokesperson for GLAAD.
Martin has been with CNN since 2007 as a contributing senior analyst. No word on how long the suspension will be for. Martin has yet to comment on the suspension on Twitter or his own Web site.
Do you think CNN was right in suspending Roland Martin? Do you think he should be fired? Share your comments below.