Politics

Boston Red Sox Wants Yawkey Way Renamed Because of Former Owner’s Racist Past

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President Trump, often the laughing stock of his critics, can sometimes be rather insightful. In his epic debacle of a news conference on Tuesday, he groused about the removal of Confederate monuments, and implied that this was a slippery slope that would end in the removal of much of the nation’s historical markers.

And he was right. After Charlottesville, statues came down in North Carolina and Maryland. And then there were calls for the removal of statues of Jackson and even George Washington. Some have called for the demolition of Mount Rushmore. And a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Chicago was torched and literally defaced (the motives for that one are still unclear).

But baseball? You wouldn’t assume there was much about the Red Sox that was overtly racist. Current Red Sox owner John Henry would disagree.

He said Thursday that he wants to change the name of the street next to Fenway Park, a street that bears the name of his predecessor Tom Yawkey.

Yawkey is in the Baseball hall of Fame. He owned the Red Sox from 1933 until 1976.

To be fair, the Red Sox have a troubled past. Yawkey’s team was the last to integrate. He held out until 1959. That was 12 seasons after Jackie Robinson began playing.

Tom Yawkey was an old-school baseball fan. He bought the team with money he inherited when he was just 30. Despite his significant investments, he could never get the team far enough to win a World Series.

While his name isn’t well known outside of Boston, Yawkey Way is iconic for Red Sox fans.

“The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets,” Henry wrote in an email to the Boston Herald.

“But 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.”

“We 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 said.

Henry suggests  “David Ortiz Way” or “Big Papi Way.”