Roland Martin, the CNN contributor who caused a firestorm during Super Bowl Sunday for posting several anti-gay homophobic comments both on Twitter and Facebook, has been suspended by his main employer, CNN.
“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” CNN said in a statement published by The Washington Post. “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.”
It’s good that CNN has been “giving careful consideration to this matter,” because they remained absolutely silent on this, and even ignored pleas from GLAAD, which has a strong history of working with organizations to help them teach tolerance and avoid situations like the one Roland Martin created.
Here’s a sample for those unfamiliar with what Martin said on Sunday via Twitter:
On Facebook on the same day, Martin also posted:
“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”
It was inconceivable for Martin to attempt to claim that his Facebook comment and his tweets were an attack on soccer and not homophobic, yet he did nonetheless.
Not only were they homophobic, but they advocated violence against gays, or anyone who doesn’t fall into Martin’s personal concept of how men are supposed to behave.
It’s important for readers to understand that Roland Martin, along with his wife, have a long history of anti-gay behavior. Martin has praised his wife, a pastor, for her work attempting to “cure” gay men and lesbians of their homosexuality.
As we wrote yesterday, a hate crime beating like the one demonstrated in this video, which we published Monday, is the result of tone-deaf, anti-gay comments from leaders in the public eye. Comments like Martin’s give people permission to do this.
Sunday night, GLAAD began a campaign calling on CNN to fire Martin: “Advocates of anti-gay violence have no place at CNN or Time Warner.”
We commend GLAAD for their quick and intensive response to Martin’s attacks, and we commend CNN for taking this initial step.
CNN now must ensure that all their employees receive the message that “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated.”
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