USA Today Sports

J.D. Martinez explains his controversial Instagram post

Rob Bradford
August 28, 2018 - 8:02 pm

At about 5:30 p.m. J.D. Martinez emerged from the tunnel leading to the Red Sox' dugout. It wasn't part of his usual routine, but circumstances dictated a slight change in course Tuesday.

Martinez met with the media for just under five minutes to address the controversial Instagram post from 2013.

The following was what Martinez had to say:

(The reasoning behind posting)

At the time I posted that, the Second Amendment at the time was definitely a hot topic. It’s one of those things where the point of it wasn’t to offend anybody. As most of you guys know, I’m Cuban-American. Most of my family was run out of Cuba because of a brutal dictator. It’s terrible. It’s one of those things where I’ll never get to meet some of my family members because of it. It’s one of those things where I was really touched at the time. 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.

It was one of those things when I saw the quote and I saw the meme, and it was terrible, my country came from Cuba. That was another brutal dictator at the time. He ran and did a lot of terrible things down there, a lot of horrible things. when I read that, it kind of threw me back. I posted it and that’s one thing that, I love my country. I love this county. I stand by the Constitution and the Second Amendment. It’s something that I take pride in and it’s something that I’ll back up.

(Do you regret posting in the manner you did?)

If anyone reads it, they’ll see that that’s not what I meant by it. I meant the exact opposite by it if you read it and you see it. It’s one of those things. But 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. This was something that happened six years ago. in this day and age, it’s something where you really have to be really 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 own the right because I posted it and that’s why I’m out here talking about it, but I’m worried about a championship. 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.

(Look back on it as something you now think about differently?)

Nothing. It’s exactly kind of like I’ve been saying. I didn’t mean any harm by the pic. It was more of a picture showing what my stand was on the Second Amendment.

(How did it surface after five years?)

Boston. That’s how it got out. I don’t know. It’s been up there for a while. It’s the new hot thing to do now, to dig and try to find something to make people look bad, I guess.

(Do you understand why people might be offended by it?)

Yeah, I understand, but like I said, I said no intent to hurt anybody by it. I think if you read it and you kind of understand it, you’re kind of seeing it. Like I said, I can in a sense relate to it. My family can. We had to leave our country and people. My parents still talk about family members who are back in Cuba who I never got to meet. It sucks. I love this country. This is the greatest country in the world. I would never choose to leave this country. At the time, when it was a hot topic, it was something I read and I said, ‘Wow.’ That was why I did it.

(Have you looked into the quote in the meantime?)

No. Like I said, I’m worried about baseball.

(Would you want to use your platform to be more political?)

No. I don’t believe in it, in my opinion. We come here and we play baseball. This isn’t the environment to get into that. I’m a baseball player. That’s how I want people to view me. That’s how I want people to look at me. I’m not here to start a movement or start anything else. I play baseball and I want to win a championship. That’s all I’m here for.