Boston's Yawkey Way gets new name over allegations of racist origin

Retired Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz left stands with team principal owner John Henry while honored with the renaming of a portion of Yawkey Way to David Ortiz Drive outside Fenway Park in Boston

Yawkey Way is the street Fenway Park is on.

Boston officials voted Thursday morning to change Yawkey Way back to its original name of Jersey Street.

The vote was spurred by a petition from The Red Sox, along with business owners on Yawkey Way filed in February.

Yawkey Way had received heavy criticism over the years for its connection to the franchise's complicated racial past under former owner Tom Yawkey.

Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 until his death in 1976, has faced allegations of racism stemming from the fact that he fielded all-white teams even after black players joined the league.

There, of course, was opposition to the ruling by Yawkey supporters, and the Yawkey Foundation, a charity named for the former owner and his wife, Jean, which has provided millions of dollars in charitable donations to support many programs around Boston.

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Prior to that, the team chose not to sign several prominent black players, including Robinson and Willie Mays.

The team said its petition had the support of all abutters on Yawkey Way.

"We have always acknowledged that it is regrettable that the Red Sox were the last Major League baseball team to integrate".

The debate over Yawkey Way was part of the larger national debate over markers, memorials and statues that are now perceived as racist or incompatible with modern sensibilities.

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

Last summer, the City of Boston renamed a piece of the road to David Ortiz Drive to honor the retired slugger and multi-time postseason hero.

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