Racist graffiti found on Jackie Robinson statue in Coney Island

The graffiti was found on this statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese. The statue commemorates a time when Reese stood beside Robinson with his arm around him as a crowd of baseball fans jeered and shouted racist slurs. Credit: wallyg/Flickr
The graffiti was found on this Jackie Robinson statue of Jackie Robinson with Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese. Credit: wallyg/Flickr

A law enforcement official reported that racist graffiti was discovered on the Jackie Robinson statue in MCU Park in Coney Island on Wednesday morning.

The graffiti was discovered a little before 8:30 a.m. by Steve Cohen, the manager of the park, cops said.

The graffiti was written in black marker on the base of the statue, cops said. The writer used the N-word three times: “Die N*****s,” “F— N*****r” and “F— Jackie Robinson and all N*****s.”

The graffiti also included the word “Hitler” with a swastika about it.

The Jackie Robinson statue shows him with Pee Wee Reese and commemorates a moment in May 1947 when Reese walked over and put his arm around Robinson as baseball fans at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field shouted racist slurs and death threats at Robinson.

Reese was Robinson’s teammate and the captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time. The gesture reportedly silenced the angry crowd.

The statue was sculpted by William Behrends and unveiled at the park on Nov. 1, 2005. An inscription on the base of the statue recounts the story behind it and concludes: “This simple gesture challenged prejudice and created a powerful and enduring friendship.”

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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