CNN political analyst Roland Martin has issued a second apology after he made an anti-gay comment related to a David Beckham underwear ad broadcast during the recent Super Bowl.
After the Sunday broadcast of the ad for the David Beckham Bodywear range for H&M, 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!”
Martin later posted an apology on his website saying that the comment had nothing to do with anyone’s sexuality, that it was an “over-the top and sarcastic crack about soccer” and that he did not advocate violence against gay people.
Following continued calls from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Black Justice Coalition, bloggers, advocates and thousands of Americans, he posted a second apology.
“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,” said Martin.
“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.”
GLAAD, however, expressed concern that CNN, on which Martin regularly contributes his views, has remained silent on the issue.
“The network should not continue to do so. GLAAD continues to believe that CNN can find responsible, diverse voices who do not have a history of advocating or making excuses for violence toward anyone. The network now has to decide.”
The organisation also called on Martin to put actions behind his words and to meet with it “to discuss how we can work together to address the staggering rates of anti-LGBT violence that continues to face our community today”.