CNN political analyst Roland Martin laughably claims he was talking about soccer fans -- not gay men -- when he tweeted messages during the Super Bowl which now have the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Black Justice Coalition calling for him to be fired.
But a look at Martin's history shows what group he clearly was referring to when he tweeted, "Ain't no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!" and "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!"
That's because for a long time Roland Martin has viewed gays as a group that, figuratively speaking, need the "ish" kicked out of them -- as in having a preacher "bowl down your alley."
I'll explain that, but first, let's not forget that this is a man who came to Tracy Morgan's defense when the comedian said he'd kill his own kid if he was gay. Though a Democratic political analyst and supporter of President Obama, Martin's been on the wrong side of gay rights in just about every debate, even saying "thanks" to the Miss USA pageant loser, Carrie Prejean, for coming out against same-sex marriage in 2009.
But most revealing are Martin's comments in a column he wrote in 2006, in which he promoted "pray-away-the-gay" therapy:
My wife, an ordained Baptist minister for 20 years, has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle, and to live a chaste life... For her, the obligation is to her calling as a minister of the Word, rather than bowing to societal pressures. She loves gay and lesbian church members dearly, and prays with them, talks to them, and breaks bread with them. But what she cannot do is compromise the integrity of the teachings of Christ.
Martin then compared homosexuality to alcoholism, one of the "dangers" that must be preached against:
It would be nonsense for the body of Christ to launch a gay and lesbian ministry that is not focused on teaching God's Word -- including those that address homosexuality. Preaching about the dangers of becoming drunkard -- which Paul wrote about in the Bible -- must be taught alongside of Jesus' admonition in Matthew 19 that God has only called a man and woman to marry.
Martin went on to tell gays -- whom he views as "captives" of "sin" -- that if they go to a church that is "rooted in the Bible" they should expect to be verbally bashed around a bit by the preacher, who will "bowl down your alley":
... if someone expects to join a church that is rooted in the Bible, then they should be prepared to hear a sermon that might, in the words of the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III of Dallas' Friendship-West Baptist Church, "bowl down your alley or sit in your pew." The church is called to love our fellow man, preach the good news and set the captives free -- free from a life of sin. That isn't being homophobic. It's being a Christian. And no one should have to apologize for that.
In a message earlier in the day on Super Bowl Sunday Martin tweeted, "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."
There seems to be a pattern here: smack the ish out, whip dat ass, bowl down your alley, sit in your pew. GLAAD and NBJC say it exposes something ugly and, pointing to Martin's history, that it's time for CNN to show him the door. For too long Martin's gotten away with excuses, while CNN looked the other way. Refraining from suggesting violence against any group -- including soccer fans -- isn't much for a news network to ask of its political analysts.