The New York Giants and New England Patriots weren’t the only ones in a fight on Super Bowl Sunday. GLAAD took offense to tweets by CNN contributor Roland S. Martin and has now started a petition to have him fired from CNN. Martin, however, maintains his tweets were taken out of context. Here’s what happened.
Commenting on David Beckham’s H&M underwear commercial, Martin tweeted “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear! #superbowl,” “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,” and “I bet soccer fan @piersmorgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman’s [sic] underwear line! LOL #superbowl.“
Quickly, Twitter users started accusing him of homophobia. Martin seemed shocked that people would make that leap, responding “no, fool! Look at the underwear! You would be the only fool on my TL to come to that conclusion…. and if your ignorant self followed by tweets, you would see I’m ALWAYS rippin’ on soccer. Such a fool,” as well as various versions of “are you that dumb? I rag on soccer all of the time. David Beckham. Soccer player. Pay the hell attention!”
Martin pointed out that he frequently cracks on Morgan for tweeting about soccer on “real football” Sundays, and that his tweet about smacking the “ish” out of a man excited for Beckham’s underwear ad was not meant to be taken literally. “[A]nd I said if your bad kid runs in front of the TV during the #superbowl, next time u see them will be on a milk carton,” he explained to one person, “so in your world, was my kids tweet advocating kidnapping? See how silly you can try to make this?”
About an hour after Martin’s initial tweet, GLAAD got into the argument tweeting, “.@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT.” Martin’s response: “@glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.” As of this morning, GLAAD continued to tweet a link to an online petition asking for CNN to oust Martin and claiming they were part of a pattern. Over a series of tweets around 10:30 a.m. ET, Martin explained himself again:
“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.”
A spokesman for GLAAD tells EW.com the petition still stands: “This isn’t a mistake made on Twitter. It’s part of a pattern of anti-LGBT rhetoric that culminated in two tweets yesterday promoting violence towards gay people. The time has come when CNN and Time Warner have to decide whether they want to continue to use their platforms to elevate those who use such language.” GLAAD cites this earlier tweet from Martin on Super Bowl Sunday: “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.”
A rep for CNN has yet to return EW’s request for comment.
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