Boston officials approve renaming Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park


For more than 40 years, the street that runs behind home plate at Fenway Park has been known as Yawkey Way, after the longtime Red Sox owner.But Boston’s Public Improvement Commi sion voted unanimously Thursday to revert to the thoroughfare’s previous name, Jersey Street, because of concerns over racial views held by Tom Yawkey.Current owner John Henry had spearheaded the move, telling the Boston Herald last year that he was “haunted” by some of Yawkey’s views and saying the time had come to remove Yawkey’s name from the street.told the HeraldYawkey owned the Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976, and ownership of the team remained in the Yawkey family until 2002. On Yawkey’s watch, the Red Sox waited until 1959 before becoming the last major league team to integrate 12 years after Jackie Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers.The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets, Henry told the Herald last year. But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully.”The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.The Yawkey family’s charitable arm has been a vocal opponent of the proposed change, setting up a page on its website entitled “Setting the Record Straight” and touting Tom Yawkey and his family’s millions of dollars in charitable contributions to the community.The Yawkey Foundations released a statement after Thursday’s vote expre sing their disappointment in a decision they say was based on a “false narrative” about Yawkey’s life.

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