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Our Exclusive Bob Hayes Jr. Q-&-A Print E-mail
by Mike Fisher    Fri, Feb 6, 2009, 11:25 am

   Bob Hayes Jr. is breaking his silence in a provocative Wednesday Q-and-A with me in which the 30-year-old son of the sports icon expresses three decades of pent-up joy at the news of his father’s coming Hall of Fame induction and one decade of pent-up anger at his father’s maybe-fibbing-sibling/handler Lucille Hester, who he says is an “opportunist’’ who will soon “have to quit running her mouth about my family.’’



   Our week-long and in-depth coverage of the story at continues here with The Bob Hayes Jr. Q-and-A:


   Fish: First of all, congratulations. It must be a wonderful feeling to see your late father go into the Hall, even with all the controversy that is going along with it to this point.

   HAYES JR: “What I’m most happy about is that now, when all this gets cleared up, the pain will go away. The pain for my aunts and all the cousins and kids and (dad’s) friends and the memory of him. I would like to be able to have some fun now. I mean, we’re all angry. But we’re all happy.’’

   Fish: The issue of the week for outsiders – which has apparently been the issue of a lifetime for some of you --  is Lucille Hester’s vice-grip of control of your late father’s legacy. Can you share your thoughts on what you think she’s done wrong?

   HAYES JR: “She’s all about the opportunity. She’s (an opportunist). When she was asking NFL people for money to build my dad’s (gravestone), I think the money should be (accounted for). The (Bob Hayes) Foundation that she runs. … I don’t know anything about it. If there is money, it was supposed to be for a foundation for a college fund for the grandkids. I have a feeling that the money goes to Lucille, to her bank, into her purse, or in a shoebox somewhere.’’

   Fish: Bob, why have you remained silent for so long? I’m told you are shy, but some wonder why you haven’t relentlessly pounded on every door until somebody – the NFL, the Cowboys, the media – would listen.

   HAYES JR: “That woman’ has connections. (She’s) clever. It’s been hard to fight that. She’s on TV. And she’s good on TV. I’m not a TV person. … I’m not looking for anything. But I want people to know that Bob Jr., myself, I just want my family to be able to celebrate this for him.

   “But there she is on TV, and on stage over the years, and giving all these speeches at all these (gatherings), and traveling around, and by the time she’s been on TV for six or seven years, she’s the face everybody knows. I guess we couldn’t fight that.’’

   “But now, there is evidence. … So that woman has got to stop. … It’s very hurtful. Some of the things she’s saying are hurtful to the memory of my grandmother … I’m a little bit nervous about it all. But maybe it will be fun. I just know that my family has gone through a lot of crap. And now, she will have to quit running her mouth.’’

   Fish: Do you believe she is a Hayes? That she’s your aunt? Your father’s sister? Half-sister?

   HAYES JR: “I know what (my godfather Ted McIntosh) showed me on the computer (on; see 'The Elusive Hayes-Hester Hyphen') where she keeps changing her name from ‘Hayes’ to “Not Hayes.’ I don’t know. … You can’t be a ‘Hayes’ one day and a ‘Not Hayes’ the next.’’

   Fish: Bob, why have you remained silent for so long? I’m told you are shy, and I sense in this conversation that you are shy. But some wonder why you haven’t relentlessly pounded on every door until somebody – the NFL, the Cowboys, the media – would listen.

   HAYES JR: “I have a life. I don’t want to be on TV 24/7. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that. (But assorted family members) have tried. Different (relatives), we have tried and tried. My cousins who live in Florida heard that he was (a finalist), so (last) week they told Lucille they were going to come over to Tampa. And she told them she wasn’t going to make it down (to Tampa from her home in D.C.) but that she would call them to make arrangements for them to be there.

   “But she never called them.

   “Next thing we all know, we turn on ESPN (for live coverage of Super Bowl Saturday’s HOF selection announcements) and there she is. For the opportunity.’’

   Fish: Do you agree that in some sense – despite  what might even be some criminal acts -- she has accomplished some good?

   HAYES JR: “The last time she spoke to us was at my grandmother’s funeral in 2007. We were in Jacksonville and she came down, she said, to pay her respects. I didn’t mind that much. …’’

   “But even at the funeral, she is the type of person who sits back and observes. At the funeral, she sat back, didn’t say anything. But all the while, she is sizing people up. She picks up on info. And she stores it away.’’

   Fish: I know that as we speak, you are packing for the trip to Hawaii (Bob Jr. leaves Thursday morning) and you must be trying to figure out exactly what you will tell the NFL, now that you’ve finally got the chance, and what you will say to Lucille.

   HAYES JR: “I’m going to tell that woman she has got to stop. I don’t know what I’m going to say when I (confront) her. I guess I’ll wait until that moment. I’ve got it in me to be upset with her.

   “I didn’t want to be in the same room with her (the last time I saw her). And I don’t want to be in the same room with her now.

   “But now, (in Hawaii), I have to be in the same room with her. I just have to. I have to represent him.

   “And I’m going to tell her to stop.’’


744pm feb 4 2009

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