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Red Sox file petition to rename Yawkey Way to ‘reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive’

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Team files paperwork with city of Boston to change street name back to original Jersey Street.

Yawkey Wy & Brookline Ave. Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox Wednesday made a formal request to change the name of the street Fenway Park resides on, following through on team owner John Henry’s intention last August to move on from the organization’s complicated and checkered past.

The team filed a petition with the City of Boston Public Improvement Commission to change the name of Yawkey Way back to its original name, Jersey Street. Yawkey Way is on the west side of Fenway Park and runs from Van Ness Street to Brookline Avenue, roughly from behind home plate in the stadium down the left field line.

“Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all,” the Red Sox said in a statement, per the Boston Globe.

The street was changed to Yawkey Way in 1977 in honor of former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, who owned the team from 1933 until his death in 1976.

Henry, who has owned the Red Sox since 2002, said last August he was “haunted” by the organization’s past which included racist and discriminatory practices under Yawkey:

“But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can — particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully. The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.”

The Yawkey Foundations issued a statement saying the petition was “disappointing” and the move to rename the street is “an action based on a false narrative about Tom Yawkey and his record as the team’s owner.”