The Internet’s hunt to expose any and every professional baseball player’s questionable social media posts from before they made it made its way to Boston this week. More specifically, it made its way to a Jan. 2013 Instagram post by J.D. Martinez.
The post in question, a photo featuring a quote (inaccurately) attributed to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, came with the then-25-year-old Martinez captioning, “This is why I will always stay strapped! #thetruth”
Before Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Miami Marlins, a game ultimately won in the bottom of the ninth with Martinez crossing the plate as the game-winning run, the 31-year-old Triple Crown hopeful discussed the context of his post.
“It’s the new hot thing to do now: to dig and try to find something to make people look bad, I guess,” Martinez said. “At the time I posted that, the Second Amendment at the time was definitely a hot topic. The point of it wasn’t to offend anybody.
“I saw it and I posted it. I had no intent to offend anyone, but it was mostly just to state a point — a political point at the time that I believe in. I stand by the Constitution and the Second Amendment.”
To that point, Martinez noted that the Second Amendment is something he takes pride in and ‘backs up,’ and that this post coming into the public eye won’t change that. And while he’s not scrubbing his past from the internet like other baseball players that have posted truly offensive things about people of color (the post is still on the first-year Sox bat’s Instagram account), Martinez made it a point to say that he’s not interested in any of the drama that can come with such a storyline.
“I’m here to play baseball, guys; I’m not a politician. I’m not here to talk about politics. I’m here to help us win,” Martinez, whose family came to America from Cuba, said. “[The Instagram post] was something that happened six years ago. In this day and age, it’s something where you really have to be careful what you talk about. That’s why I don’t talk about politics. I don’t want this distraction. You guys are talking about something that happened six years ago.
“I’m worried about winning a championship. Everyone here has a right to their own political beliefs and everybody has the right to stand by what they believe in. That’s what makes us American. We’re all not going to agree on the same things, but that’s what makes this country so great.”
If J.D.’s Instagram past is indeed a distraction, it will have to rear its end some other time, as he finished Tuesday’s game 2-for-4 at the plate and kept his hold on the American League’s batting title intact as a result.