Racist graffiti spotted on Jackie Robinson statue

August 7, 2013 3:09:48 PM PDT
Graffiti and racist scrawlings were discovered on the Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park in Brooklyn.

The vandalism is still being covered up because they can't remove all of it.

The paint may come off, the message still stings.

"This is probably the resemblance of some of the things that have been going on and that most certainly need to be addressed," said Queenie Huling, a resident.

It was discovered early Wednesday. The vandalism is believed to have occured sometime after the game Tuesday night.

Before it was covered up, Patrick, a Marine Corp. volunteer at the park saw the comments.

"There was the word "N". And next to that there was a picture of a swastika and over that it said 'heil,'" said Patrick, an area resident.

While the NYPD evidence unit dusted for prints and collected evidence, team officials reveal that "there is no actual surveillance of the statue itself".

Myrna Milford was going to the game on Wednesday and marked the moment with a picture. She wasn't aware of the vandalism.

"That is so terrible, so terrible," Milford said.

The statue depicts Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, both playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 on Cincinnati's Crosley Field, a particularly harsh day for Robinson.

The inscription reads in part: "Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man."

"I was just explaining to my son about Jackie Robinson's story and what he had to go through. How he had to compose himself in order to make it in the major leagues," said Will Croxton, a baseball fan.

Now Will Croxton and his 6-year-old son Gil are seeing a similar hatred.

"It's a very powerful statue and it's horrible that someone would do something to it," Croxton said.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer released a statement saying, "Almost every Saturday morning I stop by the statue on my bike, and am deeply moved each time. Defacing the Jackie Robinson statue is a dagger in the heart to everything America stands for, and I hope those who are responsible are caught, punished, and taught why what they did is so disgusting and offensive."

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said in a statement, "I am beyond disgusted by the defacing of this monument to tolerance and civil rights in America's Playground. This reprehensible behavior is a direct affront to the millions of Brooklynites that stand for diversity and respect. Whatever socially disconnected individual is responsible for this racist, anti-Semitic and frankly antisocial act is clearly consumed by self-hate. When apprehended by New York's Finest, I hope the punishment will serve as a strong deterrent to any punk thinking of copying these actions."

MCU Park is the minor league facility of the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York Penn League.