Jackie Robinson statue stolen from Kansas park, sparking deserved outrage

A statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen from a public park in Kansas, which is sparking deserved outrage from the city of Wichita and baseball fans everywhere.

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers / Victor Decolongon/GettyImages

According to NPR, a statue of Jackie Robinson -- the man to break MLB's color barrier -- that memorialized him in Wichita, Kansas, was stolen on Jan. 27.

It was stolen from a community that wanted the next generation to know more about an American hero, and a baseball hero.

Speaking to the press, 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," Wichita police Chief Joe Sullivan said during a news conference Friday. "This should upset all of us."

The timing of this revolting crime is what makes this incident even worse. Sullivan commented that the timing was particularly hurtful, because Black History Month begins a few days after the theft.

According to the police, the crime was committed Thursday morning. The statue was cut off at the ankles and then removed. All that remains of the statue as of Friday, were Robinson's feet. The chief is urging the perpetrators to right the wrongs.

"Many people want to find those folks before law enforcement," Johnson said. "So again, like the chief and the (district attorney) said, if you've got that statue, bring it here today. Now."

The Wichita Metro Crime Commission offered a reward Friday of up to $2,500 for tips leading to arrests and another $5,000 for tips that lead to the statue's recovery.

"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 said. "And I assure you, they will. The resources of the Wichita Police Department have been mobilized."

Jackson played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. Although it was only for five months, that is the last team Robinson played for before breaking the color barrier in MLB and signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This wasn't just a statue in a random place, this was a statue with prestige. A statue that carried a historic factor that educated the next generation. It not only represents a legendary sports figure but even more so, a civil rights hero.

Next. SL- Every MLB team's Mount Rushmore. Every MLB team's Mount Rushmore. dark