A Yankees fan fell asleep during a Sunday night game televised against the Red Sox in April. ESPN’s cameras caught the napping fan. Dan Shulman and John Kruk commented on it. Typical lighthearted baseball banter, right?
Turns out the sleeping fan, Andrew Robert Rector, has filed a$10 million defamation suit against ESPN, MLB Advanced Media and the Yankees, the New York Post reports.
From the Post:
Andrew Robert Rector filed a $10 million defamation suit against Dan Shulman and John Kruk for allegedly unleashing an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him that include “stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid.”
If you watch the clip uploaded to YouTube, Shulman and Kruk spend more time talking about the guy next to Rector eating chicken fingers than anything else.
More via the Post:
Rector’s typo-ridden suit claims the “false statements” about him include suggestions that he “is a fatty cow that need two seats at a time” and “is a confused individual that neither understands nor knows anything about history and the meaning of rivalry between Red Sox and New York Yankee.”
In addition to defamation, Rector claims to have suffered “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Ultimately you have to question some of the logic here. Without the filing the lawsuit few people would have known who he was or thought twice about it.
Given the amount of fans who’ve been caught sleeping by cameras this season, MLB best hope this lawsuit is tossed out.
UPDATE: ESPN provided this statement:
“The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers were clearly not said in our telecast. The claims presented here are wholly without merit.”