The Red Sox officially petitioned the city of Boston to rename Yawkey Way, the street Fenway Park is on, to Jersey Street
The Red Sox have officially petitioned the city of Boston to rename Fenway Park's street from Yawkey Way to Jersey Street in an effort to distance the club from a former owner's racist past, reports the Boston Herald.
In August, the Herald reported that current team owner John Henry was "haunted" by the racism of Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933-76, and whose trust remained in control of the Red Sox until Henry bought the club in 2002.
Under Yawkey's leadership, the Red Sox were the last team to integrate black players and did not do so until 1959, a full 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all," the team said in a statement.
The petition is the next procedural step toward renaming the street. The proposed renaming has the support of mayor Marty Walsh and is expected to be completed expeditiously.
Fenway Park is located on an extension of Jersey Street that was renamed to honor Yawkey in 1977, just one year after his death.