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Roy Lester, Long Island Lifeguard Of 40 Years, Refuses To Wear State-Issued Speedo

1:23 PM, Aug 20, 2011   |    comments
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Long Island, NY -- No matter how you feel about guys in speedos...

Rosemary Capone, beachgoer: "It shows too much. It's gross."

Matt Byrne, a Jones Beach lifeguard says, "nobody should be wearing speedos in America."

Theres no law saying you can't squeeze into them, but the tiny trunks cost longtime lifeguard roy lester his job.

After dedicating 40 years to guarding Jones Beach, the 61 year old refused to wear them for the yearly fitness test required for employment.

Roy says, "I won't wear a speedo, no more than i would walk around in my underwear, and im not going to walk around in my underwear!"

The controversy began in 2007 when the state changed its regulations for lifeguard swimsuits. At the time, roy was 57 years old.

"All of a sudden they're banning the swimsuits that the older lifeguards were using."

But he had other options.

Rob Hildebrand, another Jones Beach lifeguard, says "everybody has to wear state-issued gear, so you either have to wear the speedo or you could wear board shorts or anything that's state-issued to make it fair for everybody."

In fact, all of these guards donned the looser trunks. Still, Roy wanted something form-fitting, so he'd have a faster time on his speed test. But the most he'd skimp down to, his slightly more conservative jammers.

"Here, at least it covers you a little bit."

But the state flat out said no to the jammers. So Roy, who's a bankruptcy lawyer by day, filed an age discrimination suit against the state. He believes older lifeguards were being weeded out.

"It's not fair to all the older guys who spent years on this job."

State officials from the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation declined to comment since the case is still in litigation.
























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