The Boston Red Sox are petitioning to rename the famous street that leads up to Fenway Park, known as Yawkey Way.
The Sox filed an official request with the Boston Public Improvement Commission to rename Yawkey Way on the grounds that it the name is linked to a racist history. The team has requested that the city of Boston rename the street to Jersey Street, which is its original name.
Yawkey Way was named after the former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, who is a controversial figure because his team was the last one in the MLB to integrate black and white players in 1959 and often rejected black players from signing on to his team.
“Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all,” the Sox said in a joint statement.
Today’s Red Sox owner John Henry is on board for renaming the street as soon as possible. Noting that the Red Sox aren’t in charge of renaming public streets, he said the team “ought to be able to lead the effort and if others in the community favor a change, we would welcome it – particularly in light of the country’s current leadership stance with regard to intolerance.”
Henry suggested he’d be happy renaming the street after now-retired slugger David Ortiz.
The city of Boston hasn’t indicated whether they’ll entertain the idea of changing the street name but in order for it to be made official, every connecting street must agree to the name change as well. Three streets intersect with Yawkey way, which could make things more complex.
Although it would be pretty hard to argue with the idea of a Big Papi Way.
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