Report: Red Sox owner calling for Yawkey Way to be renamed

Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park in Boston before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (WPRI) — Another historic Boston landmark may be getting a name change.

One day after religious leaders called for Faneuil Hall to be renamed, Red Sox principal owner John Henry suggested he and his club should lead the charge to rebrand Yawkey Way, the Boston Herald reports.

Both campaigns come amid pushes around the country to remove Confederate statues and any other memorials viewed as racially insensitive.

The short stretch of road that runs alongside Fenway Park was renamed in 1977 to memorialize longtime Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, and the term Yawkey Way has become synonymous with the Red Sox in recent decades.

Yawkey, who owned the Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976, had a reputation for being a racist. Under his ownership, the team was the last in the league to integrate, not doing so until 1959.

Ownership of the Red Sox was taken over by Yawkey’s widow and the Yawkey Trust until 2002, when a group led by Henry bought the team.

Henry told the Herald he’s still “haunted” by the intolerant legacy of his predecessor.

Henry told the paper that if it were up to him, he’d rename the street “David Ortiz Way” or “Big Papi Way.” Back in June, an extension of Yawkey Way on the opposite side of Brookline Avenue was renamed David Ortiz Drive in honor of the retired slugger.

Since Yawkey Way is a public street, Henry and the owners of the merchandise shops across the street would have to petition the city of Boston for approval in order to have it renamed. According to the Herald, the shop owners are in favor of the change.

Henry’s statement came a day after a news conference where the founder of the New Democracy Coalition, Kevin Peterson, said Faneuil Hall should be renamed because its namesake, Peter Faneuil, was a slave owner. The wealthy merchant paid for the construction of the hall to create a central marketplace in the city in the 1700s.