Letters and/or phone calls obviously poured in from gay rights activists because now CNN contributor Roland Martin is officially suspended!
This all started because of David Beckham and those underwear he wore on his new commercial with H&M that aired during Superbowl. Roland Martin jokingly stated from twitter:
“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”
Seriously. Fire him for that comment? This isn’t right only because it’s clear that he is only prefering Hanes and not this H&M. Come on people.
But seriously, Roland Martin did state this on twitter, and he understood how it could have offended. The apology should have sufficed because he was clearly not being mean but just being lose at the lips and a human being. Men say things like this all the time in the non-celebrity world. This is the real world, and even in Roland’s apology, it is clear he was only hype and joking.
Is it just me? I truly don’t think Roland Martin meant for everyone to go and beat up people who are homosexual. I don’t even see Roland Martin attacking someone on the street out of some sort of bias. Really. Smack the ish out of you is a phrase commonly used, even in the Braxton Family Values, but instead ish is replaced with piss. See? Simple. Some people replace it with hell or fire out of you. Same deal. Total misunderstanding, and this phrase is never taken literally unless one is in an actual altercation.
Has this gone too far to have him suspended from his work? Roland’s apology and explanation is far too clear and even in this, he didn’t have to say it because we already know, homosexual or heterosexual, he meant no harm whether anyone wants to admit it. Below is the full statement from Roland addressing this controversy from his site.
Based on several tweets I made on my Twitter feed on Super Bowl Sunday yesterday, I have been accused by members of the LGBT community of being supportive of violence against gays and lesbians and bullying.
That is furthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused.
I have consistently said on television, radio, and in print, that I am steadfast against bullying. As I wrote on CNN.com, as well as said on the nationally-syndicated Dr. Phil Show, I believe parents and schools need to take an active role in ending this epidemic that afflicts kids nationwide, gay or not.
In fact, I was bullied in school, and watched another middle schooler pulled a knife on my father when he boarded our school bus and came to the defense of me and my brother. My position has been unequivocal on this issue, and will remain so.
When we witness violence in this country against someone because they are gay, or being beaten because they are Black, that speaks to a vicious cycle that seems to be never ending.
My joking about smacking someone, whether it was in response to a commercial or food they prepare for a Super Bowl party or wearing an opposing team’s jersey, was stated in jest. It was not meant literally, and in no way would I ever condone someone doing such a thing.
As I said repeatedly, I often make jokes about soccer in the U.S., and my crack about David Beckham’s commercial was related to that and not to anyone’s sexuality. To those who construed my comment as being anti-gay or homophobic or advancing violence, I’m truly sorry. I can certainly understand how someone could come to a different conclusion than the one I meant.
I’m disheartened that my words would embolden prejudice. While public debate over social issues is healthy, no matter which side someone takes, there is no room for debate as to whether we need to be respectful of others.
As someone who has spoken out forcefully against bigotry against African Americans and other minorities, as well as sexism against women, I fully understand how a group who has been unfairly treated would be offended by such comments, and, again, I am sorry for any offense my remarks caused.
But my focus has been steadfast and resolute in being a strong voice against such issues. My conviction has always been to speak progressively on issues confronting this country, and I will continue to do so.
To me, this is a case of twist the meaning of his words, and Roland Martin has never caused anyone to get beat up in the past or present because people generally know the difference between a joke and real talk. Keep your head up, Roland Martin.