CNN announced on Wednesday that Roland Martin was suspended because he published several homophobic tweets during the Super Bowl game on Sunday, Huffington Post relates. CNN spokespersons have justified their decision by saying that the language that Martin used in his Twitter posts is inconsistent with the values and the culture of their organization.
Roland Martin made several misplaced commentaries while watching the Super Bowl game on February the 5th. He wrote followers that people should “smack the ish” out of any male who likes the underwear ad featuring David Beckham. Later on, he criticized one of the players from the New England Patriots because he wore a pink jumpsuit adding that he should het a visit from “#teamwhipdatass”.
As expected, his commentaries triggered a lot of discontent on behalf of some of his followers. Almost all of them declared that the messages were homophobic and that CNN should fire him because he tarnishes the company’s image.
The messages reached gay rights groups such as GLAAD whose representatives claim that Martin promotes gay violence. They further pointed to one of his articles where he makes a comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism. In response to all these allegations, Martin expressed his apologies by saying that he only wanted to make fun of the soccer players and he regrets any troubles he might have caused.
CNN kept mum in the first three days after the incident. In fact, Martin was on air during the Tuesday night’s election coverage, but the following day a statement was issued by the network announcing Roland Martin’s suspension.
GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro declared in an official statement that they acknowledge the efforts that CNN has made to abolish anti-LGBT violence and language. However, they admit that Martin also spoke out against LGBT violence. Consequently, they are willing to make allies with CNN and Roland Martin to adopt a method that could reduce such violence once and for all.
National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black LGBT civil rights organization, was among the first to respond to the news of Martin’s suspension. They admire CNN’s decision to take measures against language that incites to anti-gay violence and they hope that the network will continue to support their community.