Red Sox file petition to change name of Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street
The organization wants to distance itself from the racist legacy of former owner Tom Yawkey
Yawkey Way might soon be no more.
On Wednesday, the Red Sox announced that the organization has officially filed a petition to change the name of Yawkey Way -- the famous street that runs alongside Fenway Park -- back to its original name in Jersey Street.
The move, which was detailed in a statement from the team, comes as the organization attempts to distance itself from former owner Tom Yawkey and "reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all."
The street was renamed in 1977 to honor Yawkey a year after his death, but the current Red Sox ownership group -- led by John W. Henry -- wants to revert back to Jersey Street due to the racism tied to Yawkey's ownership.
Under Yawkey's leadership, the Red Sox rejected Jackie Robinson after a tryout in 1945 -- two years before he broke Major League Baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers -- and didn't employ a single black player on the major league roster until 1959.
Henry said last August that he was still "haunted" by the legacy that Yawkey left behind, but Wednesday's announcement made it clear the name change does not reflect the work of the Yawkey Foundation (who, perhaps predictably, is hoping the name change is rejected).
"It is important to separate the unfortunate and undeniable history of the Red Sox with regards to race and integration from the incredible charitable work the Yawkey Foundation has accomplished in this millennium and over the last 16 years," the team's statement read.
The Red Sox have plenty of support in their initiative, including from three Yawkey Way abutters and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
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