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Judge throws out ‘racist, misogynist, anti-gay’ baseball player’s lawsuit because he’s too dreadful to libel

Emma Powys Maurice June 3, 2020
Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra at the 1986 Mets 30th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on May 28, 2016 (Adrian Edwards/WireImage)

A judge has formally declared baseball player Lenny Dykstra to be a man so racist, misogynistic and homophobic that it is literally impossible to libel him.

Lenny Dykstra, a three-time MLB All-Star and World Series champion with the 1986 New York Mets, attempted to sue his former Mets teammate Ron Darling for defamation and libel over comments that Darling made last year in his book 108 Stitches.

Darling described Dykstra, 57, as “one of baseball’s all-time thugs” and shared a litany of stories about the player’s horrific behaviour towards women, Black people, the LGBT+ community and basically everyone else he encountered.

“He treated people like sh*t, walked around like his sh*t didn’t stink and was generally a sh*tty human being,” Darling wrote.

Dykstra took his teammate to court seeking monetary damages, promising “pending doom” as he prepared to expose a “deception” that would shock the sports world.

Unfortunately for Dykstra, it didn’t quite go as planned.

Lenny Dykstra declared racist, misogynistic and anti-gay by judge.

Judge Robert D. Kalish went even further than Darling did: he declared Lenny Dykstra to be “racist, misogynist, and anti-gay”, a “sexual predator” and a “drug-abuser”, a “thief” who has used steroids and blackmailed umpires and has been found guilty of “fraud, embezzlement, grand theft, and lewd conduct”.

Under US defamation law, for a statement to be considered defamatory it must be provably false and injurious – meaning that the individual’s reputation must be damaged by the claim.

But Judge Kalish made it perfectly clear that Dykstra “lacked such a reputation” to damage in the first place, and it is therefore impossible to defame or libel him.

Lenny Dykstra
Lenny Dykstra circa 1994 (Focus on Sport/Getty)

“Given the aforesaid litany of stories concerning Dykstra’s poor and mean-spirited behaviour particularly toward various groups including racial minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community,” declared Kalish, “this Court finds that, as a matter of law, the reference cannot ‘induce an evil opinion of [Dykstra] in the minds of right-thinking persons’ or ‘deprive him of their friendly intercourse in society,’ as that ‘evil opinion’ has long existed.”

The court considered this more than enough reason for dismissal, and threw out Dykstra’s case.

Dykstra responded with an expletive-laden rant accusing the judge of accepting bribes, vowing: “I ain’t done”. Grab the popcorn!

 

 

 

 

 

More: baseball, Defamation, Homophobia, Lenny Dykstra, libel, Ron Darling

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