The Players: Roland S. Martin, journalist and frequent contributor to CNN and admitted soccer hater; The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), critics of homophobia and, now, Martin
The Opening Serve: When Martin tuned into the Super Bowl Sunday night, he, like the rest of America, tweeted about it as well. From plugging his upcoming segments to Patriot smack talk, Martin was very active last night (and this morning. But it was one tweet, which caught the attention of GLAAD and the Twitterverse. 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"
And here's GLAAD's tweet in response:
The Return Volley: Since the exchange, GLAAD has started a petition asking CNN to fire Martin for his tweets. Martin fired back at GLAAD, stating "well you're clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you're way off base." Martin has expanded on his tweets, essentially saying he hates soccer not homosexuals. "I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham," he tweeted this morning. "And I'm sorry folks took it otherwise. It was meant to be a deliberately over the top and sarcastic crack about soccer; I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not."
What They Say They're Fighting About: Martin's tweets. Homophobic? Soccer-phobic? Both sides are trying to add plenty of context to a message that's limited to 140 characters.
What They're Really Fighting About: Each others' histories. GLAAD blows the "homophobic" whistle early and often--ask Brett Ratner, Work It and Carl Paladino (remember him?). It's their job to call out homophobia, but it's also garnered them a reputation for not exactly being selective when it comes to picking their battles. Martin is also looking to his own soccer-hating history for some exoneration, pointing out he often tweets to Piers Morgan about the sport, and would probably like you and GLAAD to forget that he defended Tracy Morgan's comedy act about stabbing his gay son, especially in the context of that tweet.
Who's Winning Now: GLAAD. Martin here, at the very least, is at least guilty of bad Twittering and possibly bad judgment. As we've seen with other Twitter-sparked spats, it doesn't take 140 characters for people to start assuming the worst. And GLAAD wasn't the only one offended by Martin's tweet. Even if Martin is being completely honest about his bad soccer joke, his reaction and back-tracking seems to indicate that he's fully aware that he's on the wrong side of this fight.