John Henry says he is still haunted by the legacy of his predecessor Tom Yawkey.
The Boston Red Sox owner John Henry says his team will lead the effort to change the name of Yawkey Way, according to the Boston Herald. The street is currently named after Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 to 1976 but refused to integrate the team from 1947 to 1959.
The street is funded by taxpayer money, which means the Red Sox do not control the street's name.
“The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets,” Henry said. “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 – particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully. The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.”
The D'Angelo Family that owns the '47 Brand merchandise shop across the street from Fenway is also in favor of changing the name. The next step would be for abutters to petition the city for a name change before the Public Improvement Commission holds a hearing to consider the street name change.
In May, the Red Sox found themselves at the center of controversy after Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was the target of racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him during a game at Fenway. The Red Sox organization and Mayor Marty Walsh apologized.