The Brooklyn Cyclones rededicated the statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside MCU Park on Monday, in response to the white supremacist graffiti that defiled the monument two weeks ago.
The swastikas and racial slurs have been washed away, but the culprit has not yet been caught, and Clones general manager Steve Cohen said the rededication is a way to stand against the hatred the marks represented.
“Over 60 years ago, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese stood resolute in the face of bigotry and hatred, and in a much smaller way we are trying to do the same thing,” Cohen said in a statement.
The team joined members of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Jackie Robinson Little League, and local officials before a doubleheader against the Staten Island Yankees to rededicate the monument, which was first unveiled in 2005. Clones manager Rich Donnelly said that the statue of the African-American first baseman who broke the Major League Baseball color barrier playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers was particularly significant given the borough’s diverse racial and ethnic makeup.
“That statue stands for more than baseball, especially in this community,” Donnelly said, proposing that the Clones take their annual team picture in front of the statue this year, rather than on the field. Depicted with his arm around Robinson in the statue is Pee Wee Reese, a white Dodgers shortstop who supported the black trailblazer early in his big-league career.
Robinson played with the Dodgers from 1947—1956, winning a World Series in 1955.
A screening of the Robinson biopic “42” on the beach followed the ceremony and the two games. The film chronicles Robinson’s battles against racism in baseball.Follow the Cyclones all season long at brooklynpa