CNN has suspended commentator Roland Martin after a series of tweets deemed anti-gay during Sunday's Super Bowl.
"Roland Martin's tweets were regrettable and offensive," the network said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
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In his tweets, Martin encouraged followers to inflict violence upon men who dressed in pink or got excited about the H&M commercial featuring David Beckham in his underwear.
"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish [sic] out of him!" he wrote.
He later tweeted, "Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass."
Ratings: Super Bowl draws 111.3 million viewers
Shortly after, GLAAD responded, "Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT
On Monday, in a blog post titled "Final Thoughts On Super Bowl-Twitter Controversy
," Martin denied that his tweets were intended to incite violence against the LGBT community. "That is furthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused."
In response to the news of his suspension, GLAAD
posted a statement on its website praising CNN for taking action. "CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community," said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD spokesman. "Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it."