A demented vandal defaced the Jackie Robinson statue outside of MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) with racial epithets and a swastika. The New York Daily News is reporting that the act of vandalism was discovered on Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m.
The Daily News described horrible content scrawled on the statue:
Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument to Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: “Heil Hitler,” “Die n—-r,” “F–k n—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson.”
Cyclones official Billy Harner was rightfully aghast at the discovery of the hate infused garbage covering the monument to one of America’s greatest civil rights heroes.
“The statue is a symbol of tolerance. It’s an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did,” Harner told the Daily News.
While graffiti written on the bronze part of the statue was removed, workers are having trouble removing the black marker from the stone base.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Meanwhile, according to a report, local politicians including Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Eric Adams and City Council candidate Mark Treyger have offered a $1,500 cash reward for anyone who provides information that leads to a police arrest.
Greenfield, Adams and Treyger all expressed outrage over the continued rash of hate graffiti being scrawled across Southern Brooklyn.
“I am very concerned about the rise of hateful and anti-Semitic incidents here in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. The fact that a statue celebrating the historic friendship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese was vandalized with anti-black and anti-Semitic graffiti makes this incident even more despicable. We must once again come together as a community and a city to send a clear message that this cowardly behavior will not be tolerated and that we will support the NYPD in bringing those responsible to justice,” Greenfield said.
“This action is not in the spirit of Brooklyn or in the spirit of Jackie Robinson or Pee Wee Reese. And to desecrate the statues that represent their memory and legacy is unforgivable. When the perpetrator(s) of this hate crime are caught — and I’m confident they will be, they should face the maximum penalty under the law,” said Senator Adams.
“The vandalism of the statue of civil rights icon and hero Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in the borough we are proud to call home, is a sad reminder that those who hate, hate indiscriminately. We cannot – and will not – be intimidated by such vile individuals. Everything that is great about Brooklyn, and New York City, comes from its diversity. For this to occur in Coney Island – a neighborhood known for its rich diversity – is particularly outrageous and despicable. Make no mistake, whoever committed this act of vandalism has committed a crime, and the District Attorney should prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law. We are offering a reward of $1,500 for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible,” said Treyger.
The New York Daily News has also put out a $10,000 cash reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the crime.
Anyone with knowledge of the incident can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.