Boston commission approves Red Sox plan to rename Yawkey Way over racist past

A Boston commission has approved the Red Sox’s request to change the name of Yawkey Way to Jersey Street. (AP)
A Boston commission has approved the Red Sox’s request to change the name of Yawkey Way to Jersey Street. (AP)

Yawkey Way is no more. On Thursday, Boston’s Public Improvement Commission unanimously approved Boston Red Sox owner John Henry’s request to change the name of Yawkey Way, according to the Boston Globe. The street will now be known as Jersey Street, its original name.

The reason behind the change, which Red Sox owner John Henry requested back in February, was inclusivity. Yawkey Way is named after former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, and Yawkey’s Red Sox were the last team in the majors to promote an African-American player. They didn’t do it until 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson made his debut. At the time, Yawkey was accused of being a racist.

The name change certainly won’t wipe away the team’s racial past, which Henry has said still haunts him, but it does publicly show that the Red Sox don’t support the kind of retrograde thinking that Yawkey was accused of representing.

The Yawkey Foundation isn’t thrilled with the name change, though, which was clear in the statement it released on Thursday.


The original statement the Red Sox released in February praised all the charitable work the foundation has done, and made clear that the name change was not an indictment on the foundation itself.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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