Roland Martin apologizes for Tweet directed at gay fans of David Beckham

Wed. February 8, 2012 10:36 AM by

CNN commentator Roland Martin on Tuesday apologized for an anti-gay tweet.

Referring to an H&M commercial featuring soccer star David Beckham modeling his line of underwear which aired during Sunday's Super Bowl, Martin tweeted: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!"

Media advocacy and anti-defamation group the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called on CNN to fire Martin.

"Martin has a history of anti-LGBT views. GLAAD is calling on him to be fired, joining many other LGBT activists and bloggers," the group said in a blog post.

In a statement released on his website, Martin denied he was gay bashing.

"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. Violence against gay people or against any other minority isn't a political opinion," he said.

"Speaking out against anti-LGBT violence on his site is a start," GLAAD said in response, "but Martin should use his other platforms to fight against the very things he says he himself experienced. Media and those in it are very powerful forces in this country."

"The time has come for Roland Martin to put actions behind his words. We call on him to meet with GLAAD and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address anti-LGBT violence faced by communities all across the country."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine