Overnight, someone spray painted the statute outside the Cyclones' Coney Island ballpark with swastikas and racist slurs, including the words "die nigger."
The statue, feauturing Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, commemorates a (possibly apocryphal) moment from 1947, Robinson's debut season. New York unveiled the sculpture in 2005 out front of MCU Park, home of the Mets' single-A affiliates. Rachel Robinson was on hand, and called it "a historic symbol of a wonderful legacy of friendship, of teamwork, of courage—of a lot of things we hope we will be able to pass on to young people."
Workers were able to remove the spray paint from the sculpture itself ahead of today's 11 a.m. game, but haven't yet been able to clean the granite base. The graffiti was covered up by electrical tape before fans arrived.
There are surveillance cameras in the area, and the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
[Photo by 1010 WINS's Glenn Schuck]