Rename Jersey St in Boston to Yawkey Way!

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Jersey Street runs alongside Fenway Park in Boston. The street name has no connection that resonates with Red Sox fans. In fact "Jersey" is a little too close to New York, home of our arch-enemy. The name honors an English Aristocrat, the sixth Earl of Jersey, who gained much of his fortune from the slave trade. The street name must be changed!

We propose returning that stretch of road to its recent historical moniker "Yawkey Way". If you need a compromise reason, let's say we are doing this to honor the legacy of Jean Yawkey, who controlled the team from 1976 until her death in 1992. Her estate maintained ownership until its sale to John Henry's group in 2002. Mrs. Yawkey was a joint owner, along with her husband, who purchased the team in 1933. All told, that is a 68 year legacy to be proud of, honored and celebrated!

In recent years, a disingenuous campaign was championed by the team's current owner to remove the Yawkey name from the neighborhood. We suspect that the real underlying reason is that Mr. Henry secretly resents the fact that the Yawkey / Red-Sox legacy overshadows his. He knows that he will never match that 68 year ownership span and that Boston has not embraced him with the same level of love, even though his tenure has admirably resulted in World Series Championships, something the Yawkey family was unable to achieve.

Henry used his membership in the Billionaire Boys Club to take control of Boston's most important and influential media outlet (The Boston Globe) which he then employed as a bully pulpit to push his anti-Yawkey agenda with numerous sycophants in his employ doing his bidding in public and behind the scenes.

We believe that his end game is to eventually see his own name on the street signs in question. The Phoenix Foundation of Boston, MA is committed to try and keep that from happening and to restore the Yawkey name on Jersey St. John Henry likely believes that he can elevate his own reputation and status by smearing the Yawkee name. This is both wrongheaded and unfortunate.

Mr. Henry won the first battle, but many Bostonian's and full-blooded members of Red-Sox Nation are not yet ready to cave to the whims of this St Louis Cardinals fan and carpetbagger from California via Florida and the Marlins; this opportunist with no loyalty to anything other than money; who once owned a piece of The NY Yankees!

We believe that Henry's minority led opinion (from outside Boston) with powerful local and national connections muscled through the recent decision by an obscure city commission to take down Yawkey Way. We do not believe this decision reflects the greater community of born and bred local residents and life-long Red-Sox fans.

This petition is an attempt to prove that the genuine local love for the Yawkey legacy, along with Boston's capacity for forgiveness and belief in redemption is larger and stronger than John Henry's ego or his Billions. We do not believe John Henry is really a bad guy - he's just misinformed and has chosen the wrong path here. It's never too late to reverse that mistake. We implore Mr. Henry to rethink his position here. Help us overwhelm him with calls to stand down on this!

The Mayor of Boston, a recovering alcoholic, knows first-hand how the local populace can take the the full measure of a man and realize that the good can vastly override the bad or negatives from past behavior. We implore the honorable Marty Walsh to take a stronger stand on this issue and side with us! That will certainly help turn the tide to reach the correct solution. Walsh stated that he was not in favor of the move, but then meekly stood aside and let it happen.

Boston was the last team in baseball to integrate, back when there were far fewer teams in MLB than we have today. This was in 1959, well before the civil rights era of the 60's began to take hold. Several attempts to integrate the team before 1959 failed, for various reasons. No one is denying that unfortunate fact. But that is the only fact that is used in the campaign against Mr. Yawkey. All of the other stories and claims are specious and unverified. There are no other credible stories that support the "Yawkey was a racist" story. But there is plenty of evidence to support the position that Mr. Yawkey was himself not racist.

To be brutally honest, we don't know if Tom Yawkey held any racist views in the 1940's and 50's. We can't prove he did not. The overall case and the proofs offered in support of the hypothesis against him are actually pretty weak when subjected to empirical analysis by unbiased evaluators.

But let us go so far as to conjecture that he was; or might have been at some point in his earlier years. What we do know is that upon his death in 1976, he was most assuredly not a bigot or a racist! Testimonies from numerous credible sources abound to support the final truth that he had long been a kind and generous man who did not demonstrate any racist or bigoted views in his later years. Minority baseball players from the 1960's and 1970's support this claim.

Thomas A. Yawkey, like all of us, was a product of his upbringing and his times - those forces are incredibly difficult to resist and move away from. Who among us is perfect and should throw that first stone? John Henry is apparently arrogant and narcissistic enough to believe that he is! Maybe he will go after the Jefferson Memorial next. Political correctness oftentimes goes too far and this is most certainly a case in point. 

Shouldn't ones legacy be assessed on the totality of your life and actions? Isn't that something that we ALL should wish for?

Shouldn't someone's ability to rise above their upbringing and their times - to change for the better be noted and even applauded? Tom Yawkey died as a generous, loving and beloved Bostonian. He died as a man who supported all of mankind, no matter your color, race or national origin. He gave back to his community and to the minority populations he is spuriously accused of slighting in the distant past.

The Foundation Tom and Jean Yawkee established to keep giving into perpetuity does not deserve to be punished by John Henry and his supporters. The Yawkey family that survives does not deserve to see their good name defamed by an owner who uses this ugly ploy to advance his own selfish agenda.

Please find it in your heart to forgive Tom Yawkey for any perceived transgressions that he has more than made up for and should receive redemption for. Both he and Jean Yawkey deserve the modest, simple honor that was bestowed upon them on Jersey Street in 1977. An act of Forgiveness blesses and benefits all of us. Don't perpetuate the hate by allowing John Henry's ill-informed plan to continue to succeed.

The Phoenix Foundation of Boston, MA is a sometimes secretive, social-justice organization, mostly known for rescuing the Columbine Memorial from cybersquatters. We will support our efforts here by producing and distributing Yawkey Way bumper stickers. We are encouraging a grassroots social-media and guerrilla marketing campaign to display these stickers all over Boston, on Jersey Street and around Fenway Park.

Bring your own home-made signs in support of this cause to Fenway, to games around the major and minor leagues and to prominent local and national events. It's the only way to prove we can be stronger, more powerful and more persistent than the Billionaire Carpet Bagger and his supporters who seek to destroy the Yawkey name. They believe they have already won this fight, but have no idea that the real battle has just begun and that SecretAgentMan and The Phoenix Foundation have joined forces with everyday local citizens to stop them.

Let's overwhelm the powers that be and show them how much support is out there in defiance of John Henry's agenda! Talk to the Fenway Park abutters who spoke to the Commission in favor of the plan and see if we can convince them to reverse their position. Link to this petition online and use the hashtag #RestoreYawkeyWay

Here is a short link to this page to copy and Share in emails and social-media to help us spread the word and build momentum for the cause.

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Thank you for your consideration.