There’s been no shortage of professional athletes letting the world know why they won’t be going to visit the White House to celebrate their championships. However, there have been relatively few who have proudly stated why they will make the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
On Sunday, Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez became one of the relative few to say that he’s “excited” about the “honor” of getting to go visit the president.
— NESN (@NESN) February 17, 2019
Martinez is a staunch supporter of the Constitution and, in particular, the Second Amendment.
In August, the Red Sox slugger came under media scrutiny for a five-year-old Instagram post in which he used a quote associated with Hitler to make the case for private gun ownership.
According to Breitbart’s AWR Hawkins:
The post, from 2013, was a quote Martinez had associated with Adolf Hitler. It said, “To conquer a Nation, First disarm it’s (sic) citizens.”
ESPN reports that Martinez posted the quote and under it wrote, ‘This is why I always stay strapped! #thetruth.’
When reporters called him out on Tuesday, Martinez apologized if he had offended anyone but he made clear he would not back down on his convictions. He said, ‘I saw [the quote] 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. It’s something that I take pride in, and it’s something that I’ll back up.’
Martinez explained how his family had to flee a dictatorship in Cuba under Fidel Castro and suggested that is was that experience that makes the idea of being denied the right to bear arms unacceptable.
He added, ‘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.’
The Red Sox are scheduled to visit the White House on May 9th.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn