CNN's Roland Martin is under fire from gay rights groups after tweeting that people should "smack the ish out" of male fans of a steamy Super Bowl commercial starring David Beckham.
Martin, who has been a longtime analyst for CNN, was actively tweeting throughout the Super Bowl. After an H&M commercial featuring Beckham clad only in his underwear aired, Martin tweeted messages making fun of men who may have liked the ad. He wrote that "real bruhs" would not purchase underwear advertised by Beckham, and that people should "smack the ish out" of a male supporter of the ad.
Many of Martin's followers responded to this, harshly criticizing him for the comments. Martin staunchly defended his messages and claimed that he was simply mocking soccer, something he said he routinely does.
Unfortunately for Martin, gay rights group GLAAD picked up the baton. The group tweeted a response to Martin, saying that "advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN." The activist group went even further and has now called for CNN to fire Martin.
GLAAD's letter states that "Martin's tweets today advocating violence against gay people weren't an accident -- they are a part of a larger pattern for Martin. Anti-gay violence in America is a serious problem facing millions of Americans. It's no joke. CNN should fire Roland Martin."
GLAAD also took issue with a tweet Martin sent earlier in the day, in which he made fun of a New England Patriot player who arrived wearing a pink jumpsuit. "He needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass," he wrote.
UPDATE: Martin formally responded to the backlash.
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.
GLAAD responded to Martin's statement. The organization dismissed Martin's claim that his tweets were intended to make fun of soccer and maintained its call for CNN to fire the political analyst. GLAAD also mentioned how Martin did not address what the organization described as his "history of anti-LGBT rhetoric. " Referring to Martin's tweets, GLAAD's statement read, "Based on this history, this doesn't seem like a playful jab at what Martin considers an inferior sport. It seems like a jab at what Martin considers an inferior community of people."
Below, see the offending tweets, as well as Martin's responses to some of his many critics.