Racist and Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found on Jackie Robinson Statue, Cops Say
NEW YORK CITY — Racist and anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered Wednesday on a statue of Jackie Robinson and his teammate meant to celebrate racial tolerance, cops said.
The hate graffiti — scrawled on the base with black Magic Marker — was discovered on the statue, which stands near the home field of the Brooklyn Cyclones, by the ballpark's manager about 8 a.m., according to the NYPD.
The vandal wrote "F--k Jackie Robinson," "die n----r," and "Heil Hitler" above a swastika, sources said.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident, which is believed to have occurred between midnight and 8 a.m., police said.
Investigators were poring over security footage taken from the area to identify a suspect, sources said.
MCU Park has 36 video surveillance cameras surrounding the stadium, but none that face directly onto the statue, the Cyclones spokesman Billy Harner said.
"I strongly condemn the racist graffiti discovered on Jackie Robinson's statue in BK," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tweeted. "Hatred has no place here."
Robinson became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in 1947. The statue, erected in 2005, depicts a moment when teammate Pee Wee Reese embraced Robinson. Robinson's story was most recently captured on the big screen in director Brian Helgeland's 2013 film, "42," which starred Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman as Robinson.
Brooklyn baseball fans were horrified by the venomous scrawl.
"Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. It's outstanding and great that they built this statue and to do this. I think it's incredibly horrible," said Jason Moore, 51.
"It's terrible, it's disgusting," said Barry Cohen, 69. "You want to get the guy who did this and hang him up. Growing up, all the Brooklyn Dodgers were your idols. What do you say to a schmuck who would do this?"