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The City of Boston's Public Service Commission Has Voted Unanimously To Rename Yawkey Way

Red Sox Propose Changing Name Of Yawkey Way

Let me just start off by saying that if you have a “take” on this situation, you will inevitably be pissing somebody off. If you’re against the name change, here come the “racist sympathizer” people. If you’re for the name change, here come the “white guilt” people. It’s already started.

Me personally, I don’t feel all that strongly about what to call it. But they can’t call it Yawkey Way, and now it’s official that they won’t. It’ll probably go back to being Jersey Street, which technically never went away. Jersey Street still exists; Yawkey Way was just an extension of Jersey Street that they named after former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey.

If you wanna go back to it just being called Jersey Street, then knock yourself out. If you want to name it after Ted Williams, the greatest player in Red Sox history who also fought for his country in two wars during his Hall of Fame baseball career, then that would be great, too. If you want to name it after Pokey Reese, that would also be dope.

By now, you’re probably well aware that the name change comes as a result of the Red Sox wanting to rid themselves of any connection to Yawkey’s racist past. And it always boggles my mind when people try to refute this. Like, “Did ya ever hear him say anything racist?! Huh?! Where are the quotes?!”

No, but there’s this little thing called documented history and if you go back and take a look, the Red Sox were the last team to have a player of color on their major league roster. That was Yawkey’s decision. Nobody else’s. By the way, the whole “That’s just how things were back then” defense is not a valid excuse, and it’s wild that I even have to say that.

The man who became the first black player in Red Sox history’s name was Pumpsie Green, and he didn’t make his Red Sox debut until halfway through the 1959 season. Didn’t even break camp with the team. Any baseball fans know when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier? That would’ve been April 15, 1947. That means that Yawkey waited twelve years, three months, and seven days after Robinson made his big league debut to have a black player on his team. By that point, Robinson had already been retired for almost three years.

So, do we have an audio clip or a video clip of Yawkey outing himself as a racist? No, we don’t. But we don’t need one. And I understand that Yawkey and his family have done a lot of good in this community, which is still ongoing today. That doesn’t exactly give you a free pass to cast a dark cloud of racism over one of the most historic franchises in professional sports.

Like I said, I wasn’t about to draw up a poster on a stick and march up to the doors of City Hall to protest the name of the street, but now that we know it’s being renamed, can we all at least acknowledge that this was the right call? No? Okay.