Yawkey foundation 'disheartened' by Red Sox owner's efforts to rename street

A foundation set up by the former owners of the Boston Red Sox says it is "disheartened" its namesake has become embroiled in the national controversy over racially divisive monuments.

Foundation claims Tom Yawkey's philanthropy was 'colour blind'

In this April 4, 2014 file photo, fans enjoy pre-game festivities along Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park in Boston. Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry says he wants to take steps to rename all of Yawkey Way, a street that has been an enduring reminder of the franchise's complicated racial past. (Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press)

A foundation set up by the former owners of the Boston Red Sox says it is "disheartened" its namesake has become embroiled in the national controversy over racially divisive monuments.

The Yawkey Foundations said Friday in a statement to The Associated Press that Jean and Tom Yawkey's philanthropy was "colour blind" and their generosity benefitted thousands of disadvantaged children of all backgrounds.

John Henry, who purchased the baseball franchise from the Yawkey Trust in 2002, wants the city to rename Yawkey Way in front of Fenway Park because he's "haunted" by the racist legacy of Tom Yawkey. Yawkey owned the team from 1933 until his death in 1976. The Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to field a black player in 1959. The street was named for him in 1977.

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