Welcome, Roland Martin, to the land of people in the public eye who have learned the hard way that what they write on Twitter has consequences.
Lucky for him, the CNN contributor and TV One host doesn't appear to be getting fired from any of his gigs, but that's exactly what the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation wanted after Martin tweeted a bad-on-multiple-levels joke in response to David Beckham's Super Bowl underwear commercial.
After an initial attempt to explain his crass comment, Martin offered up a lengthier statement late Monday:
"Based on several tweets I made on my Twitter feed on Super Bowl Sunday yesterday, I have been accused by members of the LGBT community of being supportive of violence against gays and lesbians and bullying," wrote the Washington Watch host. "That is furthest from the truth, and I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused.
"I have consistently said on television, radio, and in print, that I am steadfast against bullying. As I wrote on CNN.com, as well as said on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil Show, I believe parents and schools need to take an active role in ending this epidemic that afflicts kids nationwide, gay or not.
"As I said repeatedly, I often make jokes about soccer in the U.S., and my crack about David Beckham's commercial was related to that and not to anyone's sexuality," Martin continued. "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. As someone who has spoken out forcefully against bigotry against African Americans and other minorities, as well as sexism against women, I fully understand how a group who has been unfairly treated would be offended by such comments, and, again, I am sorry for any offense my remarks caused."
In GLAAD's opinion, however, Martin's seemingly heartfelt mea culpa is just a start to making amends.
"Speaking out against anti-LGBT violence on his site is a start, but Martin should use his other platforms to fight against the very things he says he himself experienced," the group said in response to his apology. "Media and those in it are very powerful forces in this country. GLAAD takes that very seriously and we hope that Roland Martin will in the future do so as well, whether it's on CNN or in another outlet."
"Ultimately," GLAAD concluded, "it's up to CNN, viewers and readers to judge...the veracity of and commitment to his words today. CNN has thus far remained silent. They should not continue to do so. The time has come for Roland Martin to put actions behind his words. We call on him to meet with GLAAD and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address anti-LGBT violence faces communities all across the country."