Boston Officials Postpone Vote on Renaming of Famous Yawkey Way

Boston's Public Improvement Commission has decided to postpone a vote to change the name of an iconic street adjacent to Fenway Park.

The commission met Thursday morning after hearing from several people for and against the idea. After two hours, the commission decided to postpone the vote until April 12.

Red Sox principal owner John Henry had filed a petition in February to change the name of Yawkey Way back to the original name of Jersey Street.

"It is important to separate the unfortunate and undeniable history of the Red Sox with regards to race and integration from the incredible charitable work the Yawkey Foundation has accomplished in this millennium and over the last 16 years," the team had said in a statement.

Officials said it was in an effort to rid themselves of negative connotations connected with Tom Yawkey, who allegedly had a history of racist views while he was team owner from 1933 to 1976.

His widow, Jean Yawkey, and later the Yawkey Trust, continued to own the team until Henry purchased it in 2002.

Among those speaking for and against the name change Thursday morning was Jack Connors, a well-known Boston philanthropist who said the street name shouldn't change.

"What’s next? Washington Street? Jefferson Way," he asked.

John Harrington, chair of the Yawkey Foundation, who knew Tom Yawkey personally also said Yawkey’s true legacy was giving back and agreed the street’s name shouldn’t change.

"We should not just honor his name, we should support his work," said Harrington.

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