Derek Jeter. Chris Paul. Tiger Woods. Danica Patrick.
To most of us, the people mentioned represent elite athletes at (or near) the top of their respective sports. Even more, they’re quality people who represent their teams, their sport and their families with class.
To Lenny Dykstra, they’re apparently “three darkies and a bitch.” Jeter, Paul and Woods, all black men, are also “spearchuckers.”
That’s based on a conversation – rapt, is more like it – the former Mets centerfielder, car wash mogul, financial guru and failed entrepreneur had with Kevin Coughlin, a former employee at Dykstra’s doomed Players Club magazine, who dishes like Maytag about his ex-boss from hell in this month’s GQ.
Yes, Coughlin was fired by Dystra, which gives him more than ample incentive to lay out his former boss the way Dykstra crushed catchers at home plate.
Here’s the exact excerpt:
…On another occasion, I field a call from Lenny about potential cover subjects while I’m at home; Lenny’s on speaker when he proudly states, for both my wife and me, that “nobody can all me a racist — I put three darkies and a bitch on my first four covers.”
The first four Players Club covers featured Derek Jeter, Chris Paul, Tiger Woods and Danica Patrick.
“What was that Lenny?” I ask.
“I said I put three spearchuckers on the cover!” he replies.
To say Dykstra is a racist is like calling Bernie Madoff a thief — the term just doesn’t seem to do justice.
Frankly, though, I wasn’t all that shocked when I read those terms allegedly spewed from Dykstra chaw-stained lips. Maybe because I’m of a certain generation just young enough to remember segregation, just young enough to recall a time when every white person you passed on the street saw N—– first and a human being second, I’m just not all that surprised when someone spews this kind of filth.
It’s actually more surprising that he was able to keep it inside while still trying to leverage them for his own gain. In some circles, that’s called “pimping.”
I am surprised he spewed it so freely, and that he said it to someone who was not wearing a hood.
It reminded me of an adage widely held among many African Americans — both pre and since the miracle of last November — that no matter how successful, not matter how rich, not matter how much respect and acclaim a black person earns, to some he’ll always be just a N—–.
To Dykstra, Jeter, Paul, Woods and Patrick were good enough to sell magazines. But to him they were still just three darkies and a bitch.
If Dykstra holds these views, you have to wonder what he thought of some of the men who helped him in the 1986 World Series with the Mets. What did he think of George Foster, Darryl Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Dwight Gooden and Mookie Wilson, the African Americans on that team? What was he thinking as he traveled and showered when them day after day. As he hugged them with joy on the night they won the Series?
And what must the ’86 Mets of Latin descent — Keith Hernandez, Jesse Orosco, Rafael Santana, Bobby Ojeda,Sid Fernandez and Rick Aguilera — have thought when they read those words attributed to their former teammate?
Chances are, they weren’t surprised, either.
Not surprisingly, Dykstra spewed back at Coughlin, calling the story “all lies.”
“I lived with [Darryl] Strawberry and [Dwight] Gooden,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And I’m sure they were some of his best friends, too.