The Minnesota Twins have decided to remove the statue of their ex-owner over his racist comments when he moved the team to Minnesota.

The Twins announced on Friday that they would be removing the statue from Target Field of their former owner Calvin Griffith because of his racist comments in 1978 after he moved the team to Minnesota from Washington DC.

“When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction with our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’ As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball – including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961.

“While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value.

“Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome.

“Past, present or future, there is no place for racism, inequality and injustice in Twins Territory.”

In 1978, Griffith said “I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don’t go to ballgames, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here.”

Obviously racist its core and it is about time the Twins decided to publicly address it and try to separate themselves as much as possible from that part of their past.

Minneapolis was the epicenter of protests around the country in regards to police brutality and social injustice after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer back in May.

Since then, America has had to take a real serious look at the ideas and beliefs of those who founded this country and who continue to make decisions about it today.

It is so encouraging to see statue after statue come down in this country where individuals who were either racist or made very inappropriate comments about race were for some reason being revered.


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