Earth to Phil Mushnick: Professional athletes sometimes say the F word.
So do most adults. So does the favorite politician of the editorial pages of the New York Post, which has been publishing your get-off-my-lawn routine for the past 30 years or so.
Get over it, gramps. This is the way people talk. And you know what? It’s not that big a deal. It’s a lot less objectionable, for instance, than gassing peaceful protesters or locking kids in cages. Maybe you just haven’t gotten around to dealing with those issues yet. Maybe you should start with an easier one, like taking on President Trump for calling NFL players who would dare take a knee during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality against people of color “SOBs,” or excoriate NFL owners for denying Colin Kaepernick his right to play pro football. I can only imagine what you would have written about Muhammad Ali in 1967.
But this week’s screed is directed at Pete Alonso, the Mets slugger who to all appearances and by all accounts is an uncommonly decent human being, a socially conscious guy who actually seems to care about his team, his game and his fans. But for goodness sake, he uses the acronym LFGM and we all know what that F stands for. And in your 1950s worldview, that represents everything wrong with these danged young ’uns. Your poor virgin ears! Burned not even by a word, but by a letter!
Of course, there are those of us who remember your column where you suggested the Brooklyn Nets change their name to the Brooklyn N——-s. And that their cheerleaders should call themselves “B—-hes or Hoes.That you didn’t find offensive.
Nor, apparently, did you have a problem with the President of the United States calling African nations “shithole countries,” or his characterization of Black Lives Matter protestors as thugs, a racially charged word if there ever was one.
But that’s life at 1211 Sixth Ave., the office of the New York Post and Fox News, I suppose, where hypocrisy lives quite well. Maybe it’s time for you and Goose Gossage to buy a little house together, with a porch swing from which you can shout at clouds and scare the neighborhood kids away.
After all, fuck them.
Wallace Matthews was a New York Post sports columnist from 1994-2002.