The Jackie Robinson statue that sits outside MCU Park on Coney Island was found defaced with racial slurs and graffiti Wednesday, according to the NY Daily News.
A park manager discovered the slurs on the statue’s base around 8:30 a.m. The messages were written in black marker and featured the statements, “Heil Hitler,” “Die N**ger,” “F**k N**ger” and “F**k Jackie Robinson.” There were also swastikas reportedly spray painted around the statue’s top.
The incendiary words outraged the Brooklyn Cyclones team that plays at the park, especially given Robinson’s status as the first African-American Major League Baseball player.
“The statue is a symbol of tolerance,” said Billy Harner, director of communications for the Cyclones.
“It’s an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did.” According to Harner, the perpetrator left the scribblings shortly after a Cyclones game Tuesday evening.
While workers were able to remove the swastikas later in the morning, they’ve reportedly been unable to remove the black marker from the base. Police officials were on the scene by Wednesday afternoon and are treating the incident as a hate crime.