Roland Martin Makes Excuse for Homophobic Tweets in Statement


CNN contributor Roland Martin has released a statement on his blog following outrage over several of his tweets during the Super Bowl, one in which he advocated violence against 'dudes' who like David Beckham's underwear ad, and another in which he mocked a photo the network ran of a New England patriot in a pink suit.

Said Martin in the tweets: R_martin

If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl

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

Now, Martin has responded in a blog post:

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 is not having Martin's excuse, noting that Martin has a history of anti-gay statements. Martin has compared being gay to being an alcoholic, has bragged about his wife leading men and women away from the homosexual 'lifestyle; and defended Tracy Morgan's stand-up joke about killing his gay son.

Sharon Lettman, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black LGBT civil rights organization, released a statement with regard to Martin's tweet:

“Even if he meant it in a jovial manner, Roland Martin’s words carry a real impact on the everyday lives of Black LGBT people, especially our youth. Given the number of rash murders, attacks and violent acts involving LGBT people of color, we cannot let statements such as this go unchecked. Silence is a form of acceptance and only perpetuates the problem.”

GLAAD has called on CNN to fire Martin.


  1. Eric says

    Even if it was a “soccer” joke, it’s clear that it’s nothing more than another tired “joke” about soccer being a less-masculine, gay sport… still unnecessary and borderline homophobic.

  2. Damian says

    I wrote this in the earlier post about him, but it sincerely bears repeating.

    As a black person, I can think of no other mainstream black individual who’s done more damage to black folk in terms of gay issues than Roland Martin. His commentary toward gays has been at best…troubling, and at worst…absolutely disturbing. His words hurt BLACK gays and lesbians in the most monumental and detrimental manner, and it needs to be acknowledged.

    In the most sensitive time and struggle between African Americans and gays finding our bridge, and those of us stuck inbetween that road, THIS man has been the biggest road block. His blogs have consistently belittled gay families, gay rights, and general acceptance. He is on a crusade, he is on a mission, and when my Aunt is quoting him….that’s when I know he is terrible news for the plight of black LGBT.

    CNN needs to have some serious intervention, or else they are promoting this man’s long term bigoted beliefs.

  3. L.C says

    This man has for years attempted to stomp EVERY gay rights arena. He’s consitently belittled us, belittled our rights, and in virtually every single scenario…defended anti gay bigots under “democracy” banner. Comments about beating a man attracted to another man at your party aren’t coming from a fun loving gay friendly dude, no they are coming from someone who has gone on record as saying gays have a negative impact on society. The evidence is overwhelming that his comments have made heavy damage.

  4. Real Talk says

    let’s see. He was against gay marriage, celebrated proposition 8, is against gay adoption, has stated that gay bullying is media exageration, and now we’re told to believe the four anti same sex attraction tweets had nothing at all to do with gays. it’s a scary, scary world when people like this are employed by the largest news network in the world as political commentators. how do you expect change when this guy with his bigotry is reporting your news?

  5. Rick says

    Lots of football fans hate soccer and make disparaging remarks about it, so I accept his explanation. I also don’t have a problem with the remark about someone wearing pink.

    Neither of those comments is inherently homophobic.

    So his explanations would be plausible if not for his homophobic history–but, given that he does have such a history, they are suspect.

    Still, you lose credibility when you attack people for saying and doing things that are not really inherently anti-gay–if you are going to go after someone, there should at least be some real substance to the accusation and there is not a lot of substance in this case.

    It bears repeating, though, that a white reporter with his homphobic history who had made the same tweets would already be gone by now.

  6. Aaron Limved says

    just last week he and another commentator on CNN who is Republican were speaking, and the republican commentator said “Roland THINKS he’s batman with his arguments” and Roland goes “No I know I’m batman, you’re robin. nice tights but real men don’t wear tights” it was really just odd, and almost militant the way he punched back. this guy seems to have an unhealthy obsession with masculinity and those types are always interesting cats. especially when they are also against all gay causes across the board.

  7. IonLights says

    I don’t have any room in my stomach, television set, or living room for this man who has long been known for many years to harbor ill will toward LGBT. Ill will he’s publically defended by aligning with bigoted groups and orginizations. You don’t get the benefit of the doubt for your words, when your ACTIONS are equally ignorant as your speech.

  8. Scott says

    All this from a fat black guy in an ascot and boutonnière…
    Don’t get me wrong…when I make fun of fat black guys in ascots I do it out of a sense of love for the game and good sportsmanship. People know this about me…

  9. Mel Smith says

    As a 31-year-old gay black man, Homophobes like Roland Martin put gay black males in a dangerous position. The racists will retaliate.

    A few weeks ago, I was the victim of a verbal bashing by two obnoxious racists white gay men. Assuming I was a heterosexual black male, these two gay white men had begun to berate and disrespect me when I was trying to purchase my ticket from the kiosk at the movie theatre. My first instinct told me that the two men were gay, and that I was attacked by them because of the homophobia of some black people. Although I was so shock by how condescending their actions were towards me, I remained respectful to them because we were all gay and I was by myself. I should have told them that I am gay too. But I was so shocked by their weird actions.

    But the two white gay men assumed that I was a heterosexual black male because of my appearance in a baseball cap, jeans, and jacket. Most importantly, people should never use racism to battle homophobia.

  10. Dastius Krazitauc says

    What’s with soccer hate? Why can’t you enjoy one sport without knocking another?

  11. FunMe says

    That trash of a human being is a HOMOPHOBE plain and simple. He’s definitely not a “Christian” … more like a CHINO. Christian In Name Only.

    He needs to be fired now.

  12. Gregv says

    @Mel Smith: Random attacks like what you describe are disturbing. But your description of the incident sounds as if you might have made assumptions. You say your “first instinct” was that they were gay after first having stated that they were, in fact, gay. I don’t know how you would know this. And you say they assumed you were heterosexual because of your clothes but without any supporting info, I don’t know how you would know that they thought you were heterosexual, let alone that they thought so specifically because of your jeans, etc.

  13. BobN says

    Yeah, right. I suppose “beat the ish” is in reference to something obviously associated with soccer… like… uh… hmmmm… rhymes with swish… it’s on the tip of my tongue… there must be some word…

  14. jamal49 says

    Hey Roland! Check out the video here of the beating of a gay man in Atlanta then tell us that we need to “forgive and forget”. Your history a nasty one towards LGBT, Roland. You need some serious growin-up lessons and you also need to have your butt kicked off CNN and anywhere else your allowed to spout your nonsense. Time to STFU, Roland, and say “bye-bye_. BTW, Roland, straight men DO look at underwear ads and they’ll look at Beckham’s ads and they’ll buy the underwear. Methinks, Roland, you’ve got some issues within yourself. Get help.

  15. Marti says

    Not only are the comments homophobic but they’re completely unprofessional. I’m not in the public eye like he is – other than working as an administrator at a public university – but I try very hard not to post offensive or unprofessional comments or images on my Facebook page. Before posting something, I usually ask myself, “If my boss saw this, would I be embarrassed or worried about getting reprimanded?” If the answer is yes, then I don’t post it. I would think that someone with a high profile public job like his should be doubly careful about what they post. And whether or not it’s his personal or work account is irrelevant b/c Twitter is a public forum and his name is attached to it. So based on the unprofessionalism of the comments alone, he should be reprimanded or fired.

  16. Francis says

    I honestly had a laugh when I read this explanation. Is he *really* that dense? Oh please, Roland. We all know you’re homophobic, there isn’t any point for you to blatantly deny the obvious. Such a dangerous, hateful individual. And it’s beyond obvious that he’s now “digging in” here because he most certainly DOES NOT want to be made to look bad by gay people, who he looks down upon and sees as fundamentally flawed. So I do not expect an apology from Mr. Martin, and this issue will not be resolved until CNN makes their decision on whether to keep him on payroll or fire him.

  17. BLu. says

    I’m glad he’s cleared that up.. I didn’t realize how confused I was… As a gay man, I was busy looking at David Bekham’s sinfullly good looks, when apparently I should have been thinking about soccer. Got it.

  18. Rick says

    “What’s with soccer hate? Why can’t you enjoy one sport without knocking another?”

    You can, but it bears a close enough resemblance to football to give the appearance–in the United States, at least–of a “sissy” alternative to the real thing….for guys who are afraid of violence.

    This image is only reinforced by the fact that, in most schools in North America, it is a lily-white sport……the sport that many of the white kids have migrated too because they don’t think they can be competitive with black athletes in football or basketball or because they shy away from violent contact with them…..and in a lot of cases, they have been encouraged to do so by “soccer moms” who don’t want their sweet little things to get hit hard on the football field and so advocate soccer as an alternative to football….which just adds to the “sissy” image…..

    And all this is reinforced further by the fact that these same supposed soccer-lovers ignore soccer matches on television in favor of watching–you guessed it–football and basketball…..suggesting that they don’t really love the sport, itself, but have only taken to playing it for the reasons I mentioned above

    Finally, Americans generally tend to think of European men as being a bit effete(whether justified or not)….and the fact that soccer is the preferred sport of Europeans therefore also contributes to the game’s “sissy” image in the US.

    For all these reasons, it is not at all unusual for football players at a high school to ridicule soccer players….or in society in general, for that matter.

  19. Billy says

    I did want to slap my friend who was going crazy over the H&M commercial. But that’s because I’m not attracted to David Beckham.

  20. says

    gotta love the selective amnesia wherein white gay male conservatives scream angrily about “homophobic things black men say” and then go and vote for Homophobic White Men despite the things those homophobic white men say.


  21. jmg says

    From his CNN bio: “[Martin] is currently working on a master’s degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University.” LOL

  22. dpbfeb says

    What upsets me most is that CNN, in their quest to be “non-biased” continues to have bigots like Roland Martin and Erick Erickson play such an important part of the Republican primary coverage. I can’t speak for the right wing nut jobs like Erickson, but I know that their are, tons, tons of Black pundits out there who are smarter and better than Roland Martin.

    And you wonder why you are driving most of your Black talent away.

  23. anthony says

    What can be done to keep this story alive and keep the pressure on CNN to fire this bigot. How dare they keep on the payroll and a representative of CNN an ignorant, bigoted, and completely unprofessional person who repeatedly and continuously drags CNN’s credibility into the gutter with not only his violence inciting bigotry, but also his absolutely awful and amateurish political analysis. This man adds absolutely nothing to the credibility and in fact lowers the bar and standard of what passes at CNN as credible reporting and analysis…a shame!!!

  24. Lee chevalier says

    Seriously: the comments here seem sorta along the adolescent indignation of ‘dude! McCartney was in something called the Beatles!” Roland was famouly ‘saved’ from gayness by his wife. He’s besties with bishop Eddie Long of church rape fame. Hello, is anyone from Atlanta reading Towleroad? Sheesh…..this is not news and GLAAD needs to live in the 21st century.

  25. jack says

    Somebody should tell this fat middle aged talking head in his ascot and boutonniere that soccer is the world’s most popular sport.Does he think that making fun of soccer as a less than manly sport excuses his homophobic comments. CNN fired Lou Dobbs for less. Rolly polly Martin should get the boot. There might be an opening for him at Fox.

  26. Randy says

    Martin should have been gone LONG ago. He’s been dissing us for years. But I think the tide has turned, and it’s no longer acceptable to a majority.

  27. gregory brown says

    Soccer players go out on the field and play with very little protective gear for extended time, few breaks, and a huge amount of exertion running. They bang into each other full force, get kicked and bounce balls off their heads. American footballers are armored. Large parts of the team do nothing but act as walls to absorb the impact of other big guys. there’s nothing sissy about soccer. The world agrees it’s hugely livelier than our “football” which seems to have little to do with feet.

  28. anthony says

    Roland Martin is also a deeply closeted gay person. You can see it from a mile away. (Believe me, we KNOW)…. They are also the most dangerous form of homophobe there is. Wise up now CNN before it gets worse.

  29. jessi says

    I’d like to think I have pretty good gaydar and right now the alarms are blaring. I don’t understand how these VERY EFFIMINATE men trick woman into thinking they are “straight” and go on the warpath to destroy the very people who have to deal with what they probably had to deal with in their youth. It’s really sad and pathetic. No matter how hateful you act towards gay people, you are still going to be a big pansy Roland!

  30. anthony says

    It’s stunning that CNN has not only not issued a statement on the issue, they also have Roland Martin on TV RIGHT NOW, commenting on the Republican primary returns tonight. I guess we know where CNN stands on homophobic bigoted statements toward the LGBT community. Personally, I think the LGBT community, their friends, families, and supporters should BOYCOTT this pathetic network until they fire the bigoted incompetent Roland Martin !

  31. dh says

    Hey Mel, your story sounds completely made up.

    I have NEVER heard of an instance where a group of gay white men harassed a straight black guy. I have heard of several instances where the reverse has happened, though.