The Jackie Robinson statue in Coney Island was defaced with racial slurs and swastikas on Wednesday. (AP)
The Jackie Robinson statue outside the Coney Island stadium of the New York Mets' minor league team the Brooklyn Cyclones was found defaced with swastikas and racial slurs on Wednesday morning, according to the New York Daily News.
The language written on the statue of Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese includes "Heil Hitler" and derogatory phrases toward African Americans and Robinson. According to the report, the incident is being investigated by police as a hate crime. A manager at MCU Park had reported the damage at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Cyclones Director of Communications Billy Harner called the incident an "absolute tragedy," and said the team is working with police to pore through surveillance footage of the area to determine any leads:
"The statue is a symbol of tolerance. It's an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did... We're going to go through surveillance video to see if we can come across any information that will assist them in their investigation."