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Jackie Robinson statue in Brooklyn defaced with racial slurs and Hitler references

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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(AP)

A statue that honors baseball icon Jackie Robinson has been vandalized with racial slurs and Hitler references — in Brooklyn of all places.

The defaced statue — which shows teammate Pee Wee Reese putting his arm around Robinson — was discovered Wednesday morning outside of MCU Park on Coney Island where the Brooklyn Cyclones play.

Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a story pushed back into the mainstream recently because of the Robinson biopic "42" that came out earlier this year.

As the film shows and history knows, Robinson had to overcome the racism of the era to become a baseball star. Racial epithets were hurled his way like they were pitches.

You'd like to think our society is beyond such things in 2013, but then an incident like this happens and you realize sometimes you give people too much credit. Even if just a few isolated, hate-filled knuckleheads are responsible.

The New York Daily News has specifics:

A manager at MCU Park stumbled upon the defaced statue about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, cops said. Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument to Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: "Heil Hitler," "Die n----r," "F--k n----r" and "F--k Jackie Robinson."

The discovery disgusted the Brooklyn Cyclones organization.

"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."

Harner said the incident happened sometime after the Cyclones game Tuesday night.

Work started almost immediately to clean up the statue.

That's good to hear because in 2013, Jackie Robinson deserves nothing but our admiration. And not just outside a baseball stadium where there's a statue in his honor, but everywhere.

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