Roland Martin suspended for ‘gay bashing’ Beckham tweet

Stephen Gray February 9, 2012
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CNN has suspended Roland Martin for his Super-Bowl tweets about smacking a man who enjoyed David Beckham’s racy H&M underwear ad.

The network said the tweets sent out by political commentator Martin, who is a regular guest on CNN shows, were “regrettable and offensive”.

A statement said: “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.”

The black-and-white advert showed Beckham only in underwear to promote his new line.

It aired during the National Football League’s championship game, which over 100 million people watched.

Roland Martin tweeted to his 90,000 followers during the game: “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”

In response, GLAAD said “advocates of gay bashing” had no place at CNN, where Martin is a regular commentator.

Martin retorted that his jibe came about because Beckham was a soccer player, not an American football player and was not about gays.

He wrote on his website later that it was “furthest from the truth” that he would support violence or bullying towards gays and that he “sincerely regretted” any offence cause by his tweet.

6,600 people had signed GLAAD’s petition calling for CNN to stop inviting him onto network shows.

The network did not say how long Martin would be suspended.

More: Americas, CNN, David Beckham, GLAAD, Roland Martin, Twitter, US

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