CNN contributor Roland Martin has previously discussed his discomfort around the "gay lifestyle." Martin's thinly-veiled homophobia has again become a flash point—this time after a series of tweets during the Super Bowl that resulted in GLAAD demanding his removal from the cable news network.
Martin tweeted this to his 95,000 followers after the debut of an H&M commercial featuring a scantily clad David Beckham: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!"
GLAAD promptly responded:
@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT
@GLAAD @cnn well you're clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you're way off base.
Martin later released an "apology" that attempts to defend his series tweets as simple trash-talking:
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.
GLAAD notes that this is only the latest in a series of homophobic behavior from a man who recently defended comedian Tracy Morgan's anti-gay rant: "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. "
Roland Martin's comments should come as no surprise to R20 readers. In a controversial CNN.com column "Miss California, Thanks for Being Honest," the radio host and CNN personality slammed "gay-focused blogs" and defended anti-gay Miss California Carrie Prejean because "she has been savagely attacked" for speaking the "truth."
Martin also attends the Chicago mega-church of anti-gay pastor and State. Sen. Rev. James Meeks. eeks has called homosexuality "an evil sickness" and was the only black legislator voting against Illinois' civil unions bill. Martin has defended Meeks' positions on gays. M
More recently: Actor and LGBT ally Boris Kodjoe sent a fantastic series of tweets slamming Eddie Long and the Black church's hypocrisy on gays—and criticizing Roland Martin for describing same-sex behavior as a choice or "gay lifestyle."
Martin has a major platform in Black media—radio, television and magazines—and his words are particularly harmful to Black LGBTs. "Even if he meant it in a jovial manner, Roland Martin’s words carry a real impact on the everyday lives of Black LGBT people, especially our youth," says National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director Sharon Lettman. "Given the number of rash murders, attacks and violent acts involving LGBT people of color, we cannot let statements such as this go unchecked. Silence is a form of acceptance and only perpetuates the problem."