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Mariano Rivera Hopes Jackie Robinson Statue Vandals Will Be Caught

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Yankees closing pitcher Mariano Rivera has condemned the defilement of a Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park at Coney Island.

Rivera told the New York Daily News Sunday he hopes police find whoever scrawled the messages of hate in black marker. Rivera, who wears a No. 42 jersey as Robinson did, said the vandalism was disrespectful and unacceptable.

On Wednesday, a swastika, along with the phrases "Heil Hitler," "die n****r," "f**k n****r," and "f**k Jackie Robinson" were all found scrawled on the statue, which depicts Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese in a famous pose from 1947, 1010 WINS reported.

The Department of Parks and Recreation removed the graffiti from the statue on Thursday.

But police have not arrested anyone in connection with the defacement and are still investigating.

By Saturday the reward offered in the search for the slur scrawling suspects had reached $50,000, CBS 2 reported.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation is offering $40,000 and the Daily News has offered another $10,000 to anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Daily News Jackie Robinson Statue Reward
The front page of the New York Daily News for Thursday announces a $10,000 reward being offered by the newspaper for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for racist graffiti on the statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside MCU Park in Coney Island. (Credit: New York Daily News)

Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 and died 10 years later. His widow, Rachel, has been working to fund a Jackie Robinson Museum in Manhattan.

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