Yawkey Way No More: Street Name To Change Back To Jersey Street

yawkey way

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Following a proposal from the Boston Red Sox, the name of Yawkey Way has been changed back to its original Jersey Street.

The news comes as a result of a vote by the Boston Public Improvement Commission.

Representatives from the Red Sox were present at the meeting Thursday morning.

The team requested the street's name be changed because they contend that its namesake, former team owner Tom Yawkey, had a history of racism.

Walter Carrington, the former head of the state's commission against discrimination in the 50s, said he's waited 60 years for this change.

"The spirit of Boston, I think, is being renewed to the city that I knew when I grew up in this area," he said.

Though past hearings featured emotional testimony, only one person testified Thursday.

Boston State Rep. Russell Holmes testified, saying those who oppose changing Yawkey Way's name were trying to extort the black community by hinting that money to communities of color could dry up if the street sign is changed.

In a statement responding to the decision, the Yawkey Foundations said they were "deeply disappointed."

"As we have said throughout this process, the effort to expunge Tom Yawkey's name has been based on a false narrative about his life and his historic 43-year ownership of the Red Sox," the statement reads. "The drastic step of renaming the street, now officially sanctioned by the City of Boston (and contradicting the honor the City bestowed upon Tom Yawkey over 40 years ago), will unfortunately give lasting credence to that narrative and unfairly tarnish his name, despite his unparalleled record of transforming the Red Sox and Fenway Park and supporting the city he loved through his philanthropy."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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