BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston committee has set a date for the vote to determine if the street name of iconic Yawkey Way will be changed.
In August, Red Sox owner John Henry said he was “haunted” by the history of racism associated with the Yawkey Way street name. Henry said the name reminded the organization of a history of racism associated with previous owner Tom Yawkey.
Under a petition, the iconic street outside Fenway Park would become Jersey Street.
Those in favor of the name change point out that under Yawkey, the Red Sox were the last team in the league to integrate. But others who defend the current name argue that the Yawkey Foundation has helped raised hundreds of millions of dollars that has been contributed to the community.
A public hearing on the team’s petition was held earlier this month. On Thursday, which is also opening day for the Red Sox in Florida, the Public Improvement Commission heard nearly two hours of public comments.
In a letter obtained by the Boston Globe, Jackie Robinson Foundation president and CEO Della Britton Baeza weighed in on the issue. Baeza wrote about the good will of the Yawkey Foundation.
“It is associated with good will, generosity and a desire to proactively confront the institutionalized discrimination that continues to cripple our society,” Baeza wrote in the letter, adding that “the Yawkey name resonates loudly” at the Jackie Robinson Foundation.