Roland Martin’s Super Bowl tweets called homophobic

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has demanded that CNN fire contributor Roland Martin after a series of allegedly homophobic tweets during last night’s Super Bowl.

CNN’s reporters have embraced Twitter, winning the cable network a prestigious journalism award for its innovative coverage of the 2010 World Cup. But Martin has had to learn the hard way, apparently, that his fellow bros (or “bruhs”) aren’t the only ones reading his Tweets.

“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!”

That is, apparently, a call to strike someone physically until they no longer suffer unspecified psychological ailments, or issues.

He continued: “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn underwear!”

Teenage grammar aside, Martin’s tweets seem a clear swipe at gay men, and GLAAD was quick to pounce.

“Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN,” the organization Tweeted, then encouraged its 80,000 followers to do the same.

None of it was true, Martin claimed. He quickly countered with this Tweet: “well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.”

He elaborated with a statement on his website:

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 isn’t biting. In a response, the organization noted that Martin’s tweets represent only a small part of a pattern. In an essay from 2006, for instance Martin noted admiringly that his wife was an ordained Baptist minister skilled at leading people away from “the gay lifestyle.”

And it’s not like GLAAD even had to look all the way back to 2006. Before the Super Bowl even started last night, Martin had this to say about a New England player: “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”

Martin, meanwhile, isn’t budging. He says he’s not homophobic and that GLAAD’s attacks are fabrications. “Not mad,” he wrote on Twitter earlier today. “Just clear on when people are reaching for something that isn’t even remotely there.”

Martin also seems to have a grudge against industrial-equipment marketers, calling on his fans to “smack the ish” out of the creator of an ad for GE turbines. He did not subsequently clarify whether he considered General Electric employees to be “real bruhs.”

GLAAD has launched a petition on its website demanding CNN fire Martin. It’s collected more than 2,700 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Kevin Morris

Kevin Morris

Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.