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Bye, bye Yawkey Way: Committee approves name change

Bye, bye Yawkey Way: Committee approves name change

Bye, bye Yawkey Way: Committee approves name change

BC-US-Yawkey Way, 130URGENTYawkey Way outside Fenway Park changed over racist pastEds: APNewsNow.

The city's Public Improvement Commission unanimously approved a proposal by current Red Sox ownership to call the stretch of roadway Jersey Street, which it was originally called before being changed in 1977 to honor Tom Yawkey a year after he died.

The Yawkey Foundation, the charitable organization that the former Red Sox owner founded, expressed disappointment in the decision to rename the street, saying that doing so would permanently tarnish his legacy.

Since his death, Yawkey has become a controversial figure, particularly condemned as a racist. The Red Sox would become the last Major League Baseball team to integrate black players in 1959 ― 12 years after Robinson broke racial barriers with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Public Improvement Commission, which is made up of public works officials appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, is the body that approves street name change requests, which must come with the approval of 100 percent of property owners on the street.

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The name brought significant opposition from some community members and the Yawkey Foundations, which were set up by Tom Yakwey's wife Jean and have donated more than $450 million to charities over several deacdes.

Prior to that, the team chose not to sign several prominent black players, including Robinson and Willie Mays. "We also realize there were strong feelings in favor of renaming Yawkey Way based on that painful fact and other criticisms about the team's record concerning race and inclusivity", the organization said in a statement on Thursday. Dozens of monuments to the Confederacy have been removed in the past year.

It was not clear when the street signs would be changed.

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