Photo of the Yawkey Way street sign in Boston, Massachusetts.

Image Credit: Amy - Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has decided to ride the current wave of political correctness in the United States and has called for the renaming of Yawkey Way outside of Fenway Park. According to Henry, he is haunted by the Yawkey family’s history of racial intolerance. This, of course, comes 15 years after Henry first purchased the Boston Red Sox.

The Boston Red Sox were the last team in Major League Baseball to cross the racial barrier by signing African-American players. As it turns out, the Red Sox offered a tryout to Jackie Robinson and once scouted Willie Mays, however, they declined to sign either. The first black player in Boston Red Sox history was Pumpsie Green in 1959. Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy told the Associated Press that Henry wants to make sure that all people feel welcome at Fenway Park. Henry would not return phone calls to the Associated Press when they were seeking comment. The owners of the businesses that sit along Yawkey Way would ultimately need to approve of the street’s name change. A petition would then need to be filed with the city of Boston.

Tom Yawkey owned the Boston Red Sox from 1933 right up until his death in 1976. Yawkey then left the Red Sox to his wife who eventually passed the team on to Yawkey Trust which is the same entity as the Yawkey Foundation. Several weeks ago, the Boston Red Sox honored David Ortiz by renaming an extension of Yawkey Way after himAdam Jones, center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, alleges that Boston Red Sox fans shouted racial slurs at him during a game at Fenway Park back in May. New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia all but confirmed Jones’ accounts with a similar story from a few years back.





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