BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox star J.D. Martinez is defending a controversial Instagram post from more than five years ago that featured a photo of Adolf Hitler.

Back on January 10, 2013 – when Martinez was 25 years old – he posted a photo of Hitler that included the quote “To conquer a nation, First disarm it’s (sic) citizens.”

The quote has been falsely attributed to Hitler by anti-gun control advocates, according to both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald.

Martinez added a line in the caption of the post, saying “This is why I will always stay strapped! #thetruth.”

The post resurfaced on Twitter Sunday night. The Red Sox were off Monday, but Martinez took questions from reporters about it before Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park.

J.D. Martinez talks to reporters about his controversial 2013 Instagram post. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

He said the post was more about his family’s experience fleeing Cuba and dictator Fidel Castro and that he’s not trying to offend anyone or start a movement.

“One of those things where I saw the quote and I saw the meme and it was terrible. Like I said, you know, my (family) came from Cuba and that was another brutal dictator at the time, ran and did a lot of terrible things down there, did a lot of horrible things and when I read that it kind of threw me back and, you know, I posted it. And that’s one thing that I love my country, I love this country and I stand by the Constitution and I stand by the Second Amendment. It’s something I take pride in and it’s something that I’ll back up,” Martinez told reporters.

So does he regret posting the Hitler photo?

“If anyone reads it anyone will see that that’s not what I meant by it. I meant the exact opposite by it, you know, if you read and you see it,“ Martinez said. “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. It was something that happened six years ago and in this day in age, it’s one of those things where you really have to be careful what you talk about and stuff like that and that’s why I don’t talk about politics. I don’t want this distraction.”

“Everyone here has the right to their own political beliefs and everybody has a right to stand by what they believe in and that’s what makes us American,” Martinez said. “We’re all not going to agree on the same things, but that’s what makes this country so great.”

Martinez said he has not looked into the accuracy of the quote from the meme.


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