CNN commentator Roland Martin on
Tuesday apologized for an anti-gay tweet.
Referring to an H&M commercial
featuring soccer star David Beckham modeling his line of underwear
which aired during Sunday's Super Bowl, 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!”
Media advocacy and anti-defamation
group the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
called on CNN to fire Martin.
“Martin has a history of anti-LGBT
views. GLAAD is calling on him to be fired, joining many other LGBT
activists and bloggers,” the group said in a blog post.
In a statement released on his website,
Martin denied he was gay bashing.
“To those who construed my comment as
being anti-gay or homophobic or advancing violence, I'm truly sorry.
I can certainly understand how someone could come to a different
conclusion than the one I meant. I'm disheartened that my words
would embolden prejudice. While public debate over social issues is
healthy, no matter which side someone takes, there is no room for
debate as to whether we need to be respectful of others. Violence
against gay people or against any other minority isn't a political
opinion,” he said.
“Speaking out against anti-LGBT
violence on his site is a start,” GLAAD said in response, “but
Martin should use his other platforms to fight against the very
things he says he himself experienced. Media and those in it are
very powerful forces in this country.”
“The time has come for Roland Martin
to put actions behind his words. We call on him to meet with GLAAD
and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address
anti-LGBT violence faced by communities all across the country.”