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.
NEW: Statement from Yawkey Foundations on decision to change name of Yawkey Way outside #FenwayPark to Jersey Street.
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) April 26, 2018
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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