Sunday, April 29, 2018

Red Sox Owners Need To Deal With Unpopularity Of Yawkey Way Decision

Based on our own FenwayNation Poll and others, it's pretty clear that about four in five Red Sox fans are opposed to the club's decision to change the name of 'Yawkey Way' to 'Jersey Street'. Aside from the arguments on both sides (each of which have merit), the cold reality is that John Henry is running headlong against the wishes of the vast majority of his fanbase. Now, you could argue that this reflects courage on behalf of the NOG (New Ownership Group). On the other hand, given their past behavior on a range os issues, it makes you wonder what their true motives were. There is no doubt that Tom Yawkey waited far too long to integrate the Red Sox—being the last team in MLB to do so. There is no excusing that—whether it was motivated by racism or not. But there is clearly some residue of support for what Yawkey and his family did in the later years of his life—specifically donating hundreds of millions of dollars to worthy Boston community organizations (which continues to this day). The devotion of the team to The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is legendary—and facilities there still bear the Yawkey name. Does this offset the damage done by his earlier behavior? That is the controversy in a nutshell. The bottom line is the Yawkey Way action was taken with the typical detached elitism that has characterized the NOG since they blew into town in 2002. They had better put their renowned public relations machine into action—and fast.