By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hoping to spur residents who have information on the shocking vandalism of the Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park in Coney Island into coming forward, Councilman David Greenfield and state Sen. Eric Adams are teaming up to offer a $1,500 reward.
The two lawmakers said they are offering the reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for defacing the statue that stands outside the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark on Surf Avenue. The statue depicts Robinson, the first black man to play major league baseball, and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate, Pee Wee Reese. The vandals scrawled anti-black and anti-Semitic slurs on the base of the statue, according to authorities. The vandalism was discovered on Aug. 7.
Mark Treyger, a Bensonhurst civic activist and a Democratic candidate for the City Council seat in the 47th District (Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst) has joined Greenfield and Adams in the reward offer.
“I am very concerned about the rise of hateful and anti-Semitic incidents here in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. The fact that a statue celebrating the historic friendship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese was vandalized with anti-black and anti-Semitic graffiti makes this incident even more despicable,” Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) said.
“We must once again come together as a community and a city to send a clear message that this cowardly behavior will not be tolerated and that we will support the NYPD in bringing those responsible to justice,” Greenfield said.
Adams (D-Crown Heights-Prospect Heights), who is running for borough president, expressed his shock and outrage at the vandalism. "This action is not in the spirit of Brooklyn or in the spirit of Jackie Robinson or Pee Wee Reese. And to desecrate the statues that represent their memory and legacy is unforgivable,” he said.
“When the perpetrators of this hate crime are caught, and I'm confident they will be, they should face the maximum penalty under the law," Adams said.
“The vandalism of the statue of civil rights icon and hero Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in the borough we are proud to call home, is a sad reminder that those who hate, hate indiscriminately. We cannot – and will not – be intimidated by such vile individuals,” Treyger said.