David Beckham's Super Bowl 2012 commercial might have simply been a short ad of the soccer star modeling a pair of H&M underwear, but a twitter remark by a CNN reporter has sparked action by the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
In the 30-second commercial, The L.A. Galaxy midfielder, who has also played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan in his star-studded career, as well as captaining the English national team, simply stands in place silently and shows off the underwear, smiling as the camera exposes many of his Christian-themed tattoos (including those bearing the names of his sons, Brooklyn, Cruz and Romeo).
One twitter comment about the ad, however, by CNN commentator Roland Martin, attracted the attention and ire of GLAAD, who interpreted it as a jab against homosexuality.
"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!," Martin tweeted, The Hollywood Reporter shared.
"Rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT," GLAAD's twitter page shot back.
"GLAAD CNN well you're clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you're way off base," Martin said, escalating the argument.
The CNN commentator then tried to explain that he was not targeting homosexuals because of the suggestive nature of the ad, but soccer fans, because of the David Beckham connection.
The former English captain has become one of the most recognized sports names worldwide not only because of his success as an athlete, but also for his involvement in countless of ads worldwide – including fashion commercials, such as the Super Bowl H&M ad.
Martin's response, however, has not eased GLAAD's concerns that a CNN contributor may be promoting violence against gays, even if jokingly.
"Martin has a history of anti-LGBT views. GLAAD is calling on him to be fired, joining many other LGBT activists and bloggers," a statement released by the organization reads. It also goes on to list a number of other incidents where Martin may have shown homophobic behavior in his career, including a comment earlier that day where he 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."
GLAAD has demanded an official comment from CNN and have set up a petition calling for Martin to be removed from his position, titled "Advocates of anti-gay violence have no place at CNN or Time Warner" – close to 2,500 people have already signed it.
Watch David Beckham's Supwer Bowl commercial below: