NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese that was vandalized with messages of hate earlier this month will be rededicated Monday, before the Brooklyn Cyclones take on the Staten Island Yankees.
As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, a new dedication ceremony for the statue outside MCU Park at Coney Island will be held at 5 p.m. Monday as part of a planned Unity Day, before the doubleheader between the two teams. Children from the Jackie Robinson Little League were set to attend, along with former Mets slugger Ed Charles.
“It will be a great opportunity to show the people that did this that, you know, they’re not winning,” said Brooklyn Cyclones communications director Billy Harner.
Earlier this month, a swastika, along with the phrases “Heil Hitler,” “die n****r,” “f**k n****r,” and “f**k Jackie Robinson” were all found scrawled on the statue, which depicts Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese in a famous pose from 1947.
The Department of Parks and Recreation removed the graffiti from the statue a day after it was found. But police have not arrested anyone in connection with the defacement and are still investigating.
Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 and died 10 years later. His widow, Rachel, has been working to fund a Jackie Robinson Museum in Manhattan.
Harner said the planned rededication honors the same fight against intolerance that Jackie Robinson himself waged.
“(The statue) has an inscription on it that these were men of courage and honor who stood in the face of adversity, and you know, in the ’40s, these guys stood up to hatred and bigotry, and in some small way, we’re kind of trying to do the same thing,” he said.
A free screening of the movie “42” about Jackie Robinson’s life will be held on the beach after the game Monday night.
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