In today’s reminder that the world is full of terrible people, police in New York are on the hunt for a vile vandal who scribbled derogatory messages and Nazi imagery on a statue of Jackie Robinson outside the Brooklyn Cyclones’ ballpark.
According to the New York Daily News, an employee at MCU Park in Coney Island arrived at the stadium at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to find that a statue of Robinson and his longtime Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese, both baseball Hall of Famers, had been defaced.
The Class A Cyclones are members of the New York–Penn League, affiliated with the New York Mets.
According to the Daily News report, the messages included hateful notes that read, "Heil Hitler," "Die n—-r," "F–k n—-r" and "F–k Jackie Robinson,” and were written sometime after the Cyclones’ home game Tuesday night. The act is being investigated as a hate crime.
"The statue is a symbol of tolerance," Cyclones Director of Communications Billy Harner told the paper. "It’s an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did."
Workers were able to scrub the graffiti from the bronze portion of the statue, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the graffiti on the stone base had yet to be removed:
On April 15, 1947, Robinson became the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, and he and Reese were teammates in Brooklyn from 1947 to 1956. The statue outside the stadium was erected in 2005.
Wednesday, New York City councilwoman and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn tweeted a message on behalf of herself and councilman Domenic Recchia saying that the two "strongly condemn the racist graffiti discovered on Jackie Robinson’s statue in BK. Hatred has no place here."