Columnist and CNN contributor Roland Martin has been suspended by the cable network, Erik Wemple reports at the Washington Post, after a few days of outrage about Martin’s homophobic tweets during the Super Bowl. “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!” Martin wrote, drawing ire from GLAAD and a bunch of Twitter users. At the time, and in a subsequent half-assed statement, Martin claimed he was making fun of Beckham’s sport. “I rip on soccer all of the time. Learn to pay attention!” he tweeted. CNN didn’t buy it either.
In a second apology, Martin wrote, “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.” But he insisted on sticking with the soccer defense, too. That might be easier to believe if Martin hadn’t earlier mocked a player for wearing pink and didn’t have a history of defending questionable comments about homosexuality.
Regardless, it still wasn’t enough, according to a CNN statement today that has been marinating since Sunday: “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. 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.”
Martin has remained active on Twitter since the game (“I’m always giving on-point commentary,” he wrote a few minutes ago), but has yet to comment on his account about the suspension. He’s probably just deciding whether to double-down and play the victim, à la Juan Williams, or start his repentance tour now.