BOSTON -- Yawkey Way, one of Boston's best known streets, could soon be getting a new name Boston 25 News has learned.
The decision to rename was first floated during the 2017 baseball season after Red Sox fans were slammed for racial taunts against players of other teams. On Wednesday, the team formally petition the city to change the name.
Yawkey Foundation: "We are deeply disappointed that Red Sox & Boston Globe owner John Henry has petitioned the city’s— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) February 28, 2018
P.I.C to rename Yawkey Way, an action based on a false narrative about Tom Yawkey." #Boston25 #RedSox pic.twitter.com/Awex6RVdi1
In 1947, during Tom Yawkey’s tenure as Red Sox owner, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American Major League Baseball player. Twelve years later, the Red Sox became the last team in the league to start a black player.
In August, current Red Sox Owner John Henry spoke out against the use of Yawkey's name around the ballpark given his history of racial bias.
"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," Henry said in an email to the Boston Herald at the time.
Until being named Yawkey Way in 1977, the street was previously called Jersey Street. According to a petition filed with the city, the Red Sox have proposed restoring that name.
"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 said in a statement Wednesday.
Full Statement from Boston Red Sox:
The Red Sox, with the approval and cooperation of all abutters on Yawkey Way, have filed a petition with the City of Boston Public Improvement Commission requesting that the Yawkey Way street name be restored to its original Jersey Street name. Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all.
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 positive impact they have had, and continue to have, in hospitals, on education programs, and with underserved communities throughout Boston and New England, is admirable and enduring. We have the utmost respect for their mission, leadership, and the institutions they support.
We appreciate the partnership of the other property owners, and the consideration of city on this important matter.
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