J.D. Martinez is the latest baseball player made to answer for a long-ago social media post. The Boston Red Sox slugger posted this pro-Second Amendment message featuring Adolf Hitler back in 2013.
This is why I will always stay strapped! #thetruth
Martinez defended his post.
“I posted it,” admitted Martinez, who addressed the media Tuesday. “I love my country. I love this country. I stand by the Constitution and I stand by the Second Amendment and it’s something that I take pride in. It’s something that I’ll back up.
“At the time I posted that, the Second Amendment at the time was definitely a hot topic,” he said. “The point of it wasn’t to offend anybody.”
“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.”
This is true. And Martinez certainly isn’t alone in his strong support for the Second Amendment. One of the reasons it’s such a controversial subject is because hundreds of millions of people have strong feelings on both sides.
I fully expect this post and subsequent coverage to turn into a politically charged issue online within the few hours, with much red-faced shouting. So I feel it prudent to make one observation that will surely get lost in the outrage and outrage to the outrage.
Martinez is not under the microscope because of the gun part of his post. He’s under it because he opted to bring Hitler into the discussion. There is one reason to bring him into the conversation, and it’s to intentionally shock. There should be no surprise then, when the shocked reaction–even belatedly–occurs.
And Martinez didn’t have to do it. He could have made his point and used his voice without attributing a quote to Hitler that has never been proven to be real. He could have made his point without a glaring 36-point typo.
Those were unforced errors. The folly seems so obvious that it’s hard to believe they were made back then. Most importantly, the detour doesn’t do anything for his argument but rather cheapen it by being specious and suspect in the credibility department.
Look, the old social media excavation is a hobby I’d love to see go away. But this example is unlike the others. Martinez was 25 or 26 years old at the time. He’s not being excoriated for using hateful language but instead odd judgement.
Bringing Hitler into play was an intentional choice with knowable consequences. Obviously. Thought everyone knew that.