CNN indefinitely suspended political pundit Roland Martin Wednesday over a series of tweets about David Beckham's Super Bowl underwear ad after gay rights groups interpreted it to be homophobic.
Roland Martin's tweets were regrettable and offensive, CNN said in its full statement, published on Yahoo! news. 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.
In a commercial that premiered during the Giants-Patriots game, the tattooed soccer star sports a pair of tight briefs from his new H&M line.
As the ad hit the air, Martin wrote to his 95,000 followers, 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.
Earlier in the game, Martin also mocked a football player for wearing pink. 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.
GLAAD, an LGBT rights group, immediately called out the CNN pundit on Twitter. @rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN, they wrote.
Martin claimed that GLAAD was clearly out of touch and clueless about what he had just tweeted. He said he wasn't making a claim about sexuality, but taking a jab at Beckham's fans.
GLAAD did not accept Martin's excuse. Instead, they dug up comments the analyst made in the past about the gay and lesbian community and called on CNN to fire him. In one statement from last year, he defended Tracy Morgan's anti-gay joke about stabbing his son if he were gay.
Martin eventually issued an apology on Monday, but maintained he had been kidding about soccer all along.
My joking about smacking someone, whether it was in response to a commercial or food they prepare for a Super Bowl party or wearing an opposing team's jersey, was stated in jest, Martin said in the statement. It was not meant literally, and in no way would I ever condone someone doing such a thing. As I said repeatedly, I often make jokes about soccer in the U.S., and my crack about David Beckham's commercial was related to that and not to anyone's sexuality.