Just a week after a statue of baseball greats, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese was defaced with hateful messages, $50,000 is being offered to find who is responsible.
The Foundation said in a statement that Joe Plumeri, board member and chair of the Jackie Robinson Museum Campaign, and an anonymous donor have both promised $20,000 each.
The New York Daily News is offering an additional $10,000, and New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield, State Senator Eric Adams and community activist and City Council candidate Mark Treyger are collectively offering $1,500.
The bronze and stone statue at Coney Island’s MCU baseball park, home to the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones, was defaced on Aug. 8 with violent, racial slurs and hate messages.
The larger-than-life statue depicts a famous moment in baseball history when Pee Wee Reese put his hand on Robinson’s shoulder to show support and friendship while standing on Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. Robinson was the first African-American major league baseball player and was repeatedly subjected to threats and racial taunts.
Regardless of whether any vandals are caught or not, a Unity Day on Monday, Aug. 19 will rededicate the statue. There will also be a baseball game, followed by a free screening of the recently released film “42” about Robinson’s life and career.