In a recent interview on The Pivot Podcast, teased as "A-Rod Opens Up on the Highs & Lows of his Career to Becoming a Business Mogul," Rodriguez told hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor about growing up in a rough part of Miami — causing local listeners to do a spit-take when he said where exactly that was.
"I grew up right here in the hood. I grew up in a neighborhood called Kendall. It was probably like 99 percent Latinos," Rodriguez says in an audio clip shared yesterday by the Twitter account @BecauseMiami.
"If he's referring to the hood as what you think of as a bad neighborhood, that's not Kendall at all. Not even close," 69-year-old Michael Rosenberg, president of the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations and 50-year Kendall resident, tells New Times. "I've never heard a gunshot in my life in Kendall."
Kendall, an unincorporated area in southwest Miami-Dade County, has never been known as one of Miami's harsher areas. Data from the 2020 U.S. Census shows that 9.29 percent of Kendall's population in Kendall lives below the poverty line — a lower rate than the national average of 12.3 percent, and far lower than the City of Miami, which clocks in at 21.5 percent.
Rodriguez's assertion regarding Kendall's Latino demographics is a stretch, as well. Census data from 1990 — when Rodriguez would have been playing high school ball at Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay — indicates that of Kendall's total population of 87,271 at the time, only 27,379 self-identified as Hispanic, whereas 53,544 people identified as white non-Hispanic. That would have made it a predominately white neighborhood.
Users on Twitter were quick to dunk on Rodriguez, who was born in New York but moved to Miami when he was 4. Even without the census stats, everyone knows Kendall is one of Miami's most solidly middle-class neighborhoods.
I know you fucking lying…….. https://t.co/5NgUoF48hA— GIANN (@lilgiann) April 6, 2022
Some users thought Rodriguez might have been referring to other areas of Miami when he said he was raised in the hood, only to be sorely disappointed yet amused.
In what world is Kendall the hood? The same one on 88th? A few minutes drive from pinecrest & miracle mile? That Kendall? 💀 https://t.co/FGP13hHdld— iMendi 🏹 (@CarrmEl_) April 6, 2022
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I thought that boy was finna say AP or Hialeah that boy said Kendall 😆 https://t.co/F4UdRbba0h— Tommy DeVito (@smoothtwon_21) April 6, 2022
This man really called Kendall the hood 😭😭😭😭 this clown stay trying so hard to be relatable https://t.co/dRclcl8NoI— Sancocho Panza (@joenuh25) April 6, 2022