Less than 48 hours after making what many saw as homophobic remarks regarding H&M’s commercial with David Beckham, CNN personality Roland Martin has offered an apology.
In a statement, Martin says, “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.”
It was in response to a Super Bowl ad that showed soccer star David Beckham in his underwear that Martin took to Twitter to say, “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!…If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!…I bet soccer fan Piers Morgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman’s (sic) underwear line!”
While Martin suggested the comments were in jest, they drew a swift response not only from the Twittersphere but from GLAAD. The organization urged CNN to fire Martin and even started a petition that secured thousands of signatures.
The organization responded to Martin’s apology by saying, “The time has come for Roland Martin to put actions behind his words. GLAAD calls on him to meet with us and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address the staggering rates of anti-LGBT violence that continues to face our community today.”