The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called out columnist and CNN contributor Roland Martin for a Tweet he sent during last night’s Super Bowl.
Martin, who spent Sunday evening live-Tweeting the game and several commercials, made a remark about an H&M commercial for David Beckham‘s line of men’s underwear. The ad, for those who missed it, features close-ups of the soccer player clad only in a pair of briefs.
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad,” Martin Tweeted, “smack the ish out of him!”
Martin insisted he was taking a jab at soccer fans, not the gay community. For your reference, here’s his original comment, including the Tweets that came directly before and after:
GLAAD called out the Tweet for encouraging violence against gay men:
Today, Martin published a statement on the matter on his website:
Fam, let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday.
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; I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not. As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, anytime soccer comes up during football season it’s another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more.
GLAAD, meanwhile, has published a report titled “Enough is Enough: Tell CNN to Fire Roland Martin,” in which the group says that, not only is Martin’s Tweet certainly homophobic, it is also part of a larger pattern of behavior:
Roland Martin has never compared being a soccer fan to being an alcoholic, the way he has compared being gay to being an alcoholic. Roland Martin has never bragged that his wife has led men and women away from the “soccer lifestyle,” the way he claims she has with gay people. Roland Martin has never defended jokes about parents stabbing soccer-playing children, the way he defended jokes about parents stabbing gay children.
Based on this history, this doesn’t seem like a playful jab at what Martin considers an inferior sport.
It seems like a jab at what Martin considers an inferior community of people.
One piece of evidence GLAAD offers is a Tweet Martin made earlier on Sunday: “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit?” he’d written. “Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass”
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