A statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen from a public park in Kansas. The incident has sparked an investigation and communal outrage across the city of Wichita, according to NBC News.
That statue was a symbol that honored the first Major League Baseball player to bring down the color barrier in 1947. The surveillance video apparently showed two people carrying the sculpture away in the dark. The only element of the statue that remains is the shoes.
A motive has not been established in the case.
One X user posted: “Authorities are calling on the public for help in finding the suspects who stole a statue of baseball legend Jackie Robinson from a public park in Wichita, Kansas. Surveillance video was released, showing what appears to be a silver pickup truck and at least two people working together to bring the statue down and load it into the vehicle before driving away.”
Wichita police Chief Joe Sullivan said “I’m frustrated by the actions of those individuals who had the audacity to take the statue of Jackie Robinson from a park where kids and families in our community gather to learn the history of Jackie Robinson, an American icon, and play the game of baseball.”
“This should upset all of us.”
Sullivan went on to mention that the incident was especially alarming, given that Black History Month is right around the corner.
Robinson made a name for himself as a player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues before eventually finding his way onto the Brooklyn Dodgers. The legendary baseball player’s achievements paved the way for other black Americans to play baseball at a professional level.
Sullivan suggested that salvage yards should be on the lookout for the statue that could be traded for money.
“Once the statue is returned, we also want the individuals who robbed our community of a treasure to be held accountable for their actions,” Sullivan added. “And I assure you, they will. The resources of the Wichita Police Department have been mobilized.”
The statue was the product of League 42, which is a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost baseball registration for children between ages 5 and 14. The organization had raised $50,000 to have the statue built, according to CNN. The organization was named after the number Robinson wore while he played.
The authorities are offering up to $2,500 for anyone who may have a tip about the statue and an additional $5,000 for the recovery of the sculpture.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!