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Calvin Griffith statue removed at Target Field

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: June 19, 2020 06:11 PM
Created: June 19, 2020 08:13 AM

A statue of a former Minnesota Twins owner was removed from Target Field Friday.

The statue of Calvin Griffith was removed, according to the team, due to "racist comments he made."

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"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," a statement issued Friday reads. "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."

During a 1978 speech to a Waseca Lions club, Griffith said he decided to move the then-Washington Senators to Minnesota "when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks here."

The team went on to state: "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."

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports Griffith will remain in the Twins Hall of Fame.

"We're very honored that the statue was there for 10 years and appreciate the Twins consideration and the story's over," the former owner's son Clark Griffith said.

The statue removal is the latest among recent calls to remove certain statues in an effort to reshape the way the United States views its history.

Hall of Famer Rod Carew provided the following statement Friday on the removal of the statue.

"I understand and respect the Minnesota Twins decision to remove the Calvin Griffith statue outside Target Field," Carew stated, in part. "While I've always supported the Twins' decision to honor Calvin with a statue, I also remember how inappropriate and hurtful his comments were on that fateful day in Waseca. The Twins did what they felt they needed to do for the organization and for our community.
 
"While we cannot change history, perhaps we can learn from it."


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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