CNN suspends Roland Martin over anti-gay tweets

LOS ANGELES Wed Feb 8, 2012 8:42pm GMT

A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cable TV network CNN said on Wednesday it has suspended commentator Roland Martin over a series of Twitter remarks during the Super Bowl game that offended America's gay community.

"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," the TV news network said in a statement.

Martin on Sunday made a series of Twitter remarks that poked fun at British soccer player David Beckham's new underwear ad for fashion retailer H&M and at a New England Patriot football player for wearing a pink suit.

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! #superbowl", as well as, "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"

His remarks provoked protests by gay and lesbian activist group GLAAD, which said Martin was advocating violence against gay people.

"CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community," GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said in a statement following CNN's decision to suspend Martin.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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