In a world of follow the leader, it only makes sense that John Henry is now coming out saying that he is still “haunted” by his predecessor, Tom Yawkey, and his racist ways.
It has been reported that Henry and the Red Sox are going to be in effort to change the name of the famous Yawkey Way right outside of Fenway Park. Now why would they want to do that? Why would they want to discredit and strip a monument so-to-speak, of a guy who did so much for the organization?
Well friends, let me give you a little history lesson for yuh if you do not know anything about this bum. Yawkey’s legacy for the most part if you know anything about the guy is sure, he helped the Red Sox organization grow and prosper, but there was a hitch to this guys, well beliefs… He is known by a lot of people as a full blown racist.
And as we sit right now, the United States of America is doing everything in its best efforts to rid the world of our countries racist past and wash it away like it never even happened.
The Red Sox were the last team to integrate which was at the disgruntled hands of Yawkey. I mean, it didn’t take Yawkey to long to bring a black athlete to his team, right? Just 12 years after Jackie Robinson entered the league.
But the question is, should Red Sox ownership set forth and actually change the name of Yawkey Way? A staple to Red Sox fandom? Absolutely.
This isn’t an original thought, but what happens when you entertain a black free agent and you show him the street named after a notorious racist? “Ahhh but that was years ago”. In retrospect… it wasn’t that long ago. This isn’t something that happened in the 1800s… This happened in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
It may not offend a good majority of African American fans that walk across that street to enter the stadium, or even black athletes such as Mookie Betts. But even if it rubs one player in your organization the wrong way, or one fan, than isn’t that enough to strip the organization of that tainted legacy? Or no because he was such a big piece of history.
Because of his severe distain for African American players, is it right to make athletes and fans who heavily dislike him honor him in a way when they walk onto that street? He is the kind of man that you don’t name a street after, but instead perhaps hang a plaque inside the stadium.
Tom Yawkey may have done a lot for the Red Sox organization, but his hatred for other races paints a nasty picture that can’t be wiped away. And that is why John Henry has enough reason to take his name off of that street sign, and name the street something that won’t effect even a single person. Because when you’re going to a baseball game, you shouldn’t have to be reminded of the team’s racist past. And yes, it is the team’s racist past. It is not just one guy, but when he is the owner and he has the ability to portray his ideals onto the organization, than it is the team who was not accepting to black athletes.
I’m with John Henry here. He had even pushed to have this happen in the last Mayor’s administration but they would not do it in fear of ruffling the cities feathers. But Walsh’s organization apparently is much more willing to pull the trigger… And I don’t hate it.
Written By: Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)