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The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)


(Reuters) — Boston city officials on Thursday approved a change to the name of a short street outside the Fenway Park baseball stadium because it honors a former owner of the Boston Red Sox when the team lagged behind others in fielding black players.

The Boston Red Sox, under the ownership of Thomas Yawkey, were the last team in Major League Baseball to field a black player, in 1959, a dozen years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Boston's Public Improvement Commission voted on Thursday to change Yawkey Way back to its original name, Jersey Street.

Boston joins cities across the United States, most in the South, that in the past few years have faced the issue of street names and statues that honor historic figures seen as racist.

The name change has been controversial in Boston since the current owner of the Red Sox, John Henry, proposed in 2017 removing Yawkey's name from street signs. Yawkey's defenders point to the charitable Yawkey Foundation, which has helped fund programs to help minority neighborhoods in Boston.

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April 27, 2018


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