According to Katherine Acquavella of CBS Sports on Friday, the Minnesota Twins have removed the statue of former owner Calvin Griffith. The reason for the removal of the statue is because of racist comments Griffith made to the Waseca Lions Club in 1978.
During the speech Griffith said the following:
“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 ball games, 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.”
Griffith, who was born in Montreal, Quebec, was the owner of the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins franchise from 1955 to 1984. He was responsible for moving the Senators franchise to Minneapolis in 1961.
Griffith was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary’s, Ontario in 2010. The induction came 11 years after his death in 1999.
The move to remove the statue came on the day that Americans were recognizing the emancipation of those enslaved, also known as Juneteenth. Of the 50 American states, Juneteenth is only an official paid holiday in Texas, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.
However, Juneteenth had great significance in the state of Minnesota this year after the death of George Floyd on May 25. As a result, the Twins organization took all of the necessary precautions and thought it was important at this time to remove the statue.
It will now be interesting to see if there is baseball in Minnesota this season. If there is, it would be in an empty stadium. In the latest contract talks, Major League Baseball owners will not approve more than 60 games this season. Players are expected to vote on the latest owners’ proposal on Saturday according to Dayn Perry of CBS Sports.