Former Arizona Diamondbacks slugger and 2018 American League MVP candidate J.D. Martinez defended an Instagram post from over five years ago in which he used a photo and often-cited paraphrased quote from Adolf Hitler to defend his strong belief in the Second Amendment.
The post featured a photo of Hitler performing the Nazi salute, with the caption, "To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens."
"This is why I will always stay stapped! #thetruth" Martinez wrote in the text area underneath the photo.
“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. I posted it and that’s one thing that, I love my country. I love this country. 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.”
Martinez was acquired by the D-backs in a midseason trade with the Detroit Tigers last season. He helped guide the D-backs to the playoffs last year, but he signed with the Red Sox after the season. He currently leads the American League in batting average and RBIs, and he is second in home runs.