Team employees were arriving at the park for a game between the Cyclones and Connecticut Tigers when they made the discovery.
According to the New York Post, police say “heil Hitler,” “die n—-r,” “F–k n—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson and all n—-rs” were written on the statue.
Crews worked to remove the graffiti but had no luck, so they covered the base of the statue with duct tape and a tarp.
The statue commemorates a moment of solidarity at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, when former Brooklyn Dodger Pee Wee Reese put his arm around the man who broke the color barrier in baseball.
Per CBS New York, here’s what the statue said:
“This monument honors Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese: teammates, friends, and men of courage and conviction. Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Reese supported him, and together they made history. In May 1947, on Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man. Reese, captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers, walked over to his teammate Robinson and stood by his side, silencing the taunts of the crowd. This simple gesture challenged prejudice and created a powerful and enduring friendship.”
Here is a before picture of the statue:
Here is what the statue looked like as the crews tried to clean it up:
Workers removing vandal spray paint from Jackie Robinson statue. Cyclones park pic.twitter.com/6VokOTmBI7
— glenn schuck (@glennschuck) August 7, 2013
— Tim Fleischer (@TimFleischer7) August 7, 2013
N-word F-word Swastika and more on Jackie Robinson statue Coney Island. Big reward to catch the suspects. Live 6pm pic.twitter.com/7hLttxstul
— Dave Carlin (@DaveCarlinNYC) August 7, 2013
— Eyewitness News (@eyewitnessnyc) August 7, 2013
— New York Post (@nypost) August 7, 2013