The Minnesota Twins Removed Statue Of Former Owner Calvin Griffith At Target Field Friday Morning
The Minnesota Twins shared a statement on social media Friday morning, sharing that they removed a statue of former owner Calvin Griffith from Target Field earlier in the morning. The decision was made to remove the statue because of comments Griffith made in 1978 the team called racist.
The statement explained that "Wile 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 anthesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value."
They went on to explain "Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010, and today." The team apologized 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." They explained that while removing the statue "cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, 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 comments referenced by the Twins in their statement was something Griffith said in September of 1978 at a Lions Club dinner in Waseca, Minnesota. His comments explained that he moved the team to Minnesota because of the "good, hardworking white people here"; after making disparaging comments about African Americans, including his perception about their lack of interest in baseball.
Griffith became owner of the Washington Senators in 1955, taking over for his father. In 1961, he moved the team to Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins. He owned the team until 1984, when he sold the Twins to Carl Pohlad.