Twins Remove Statue of Former Owner Calvin Griffith
TJ Leverentz | Jun 19, 2020 AT 4:20 pm
(KWNO) The Twins announced Friday that they have removed the statue of former owner Calvin Griffith.
"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," the team wrote in a statement Friday.
"I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here," Griffith said to a newspaper reported in 1978. "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. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here."
Griffith moved the team from Washington, D.C. to Minnesota in the fall of 1960. He owned the team until 1984.