Sleepy baseball fan sues network after being caught napping

Andrew Rector seeks $10m damages after being subjected to ‘unending verbal crusade’

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (R) drives in a run  against the Boston Red Sox during a recent game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. A fan who was caught on camera asleep during a recent broadcast of a game between the two teams has filed a law suit seeking $10m in damages.  Photograph:  Jason Szenes/EPA.

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (R) drives in a run against the Boston Red Sox during a recent game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. A fan who was caught on camera asleep during a recent broadcast of a game between the two teams has filed a law suit seeking $10m in damages. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA.

 

A New York man has taken legal action against a US broadcaster after commentators teased him on air for being asleep in the crowd at a New York Yankees game .

Andrew Rector contends that he was subjected to an “unending verbal crusade” from ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk when cameras caught him sleeping at an April 13th game against the Boston Red Sox, according to a defamation lawsuit filed last week in New York state court.

The lawsuit claimed the announcers called Mr Rector “fatty, unintelligent, stupid,” and seeks $10 million in damages.

Mr Rector brought his lawsuit against ESPN, the Yankees, the announcers and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He accused the defendants of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“These unmitigated verbal onslaughts crossed the line between reporting on sport and abuse against the plaintiff,” according to the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for ESPN said in a statement, “The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers were clearly not said in our telecast. The claims presented here are wholly without merit.”

During the telecast, Kruk and Shulman voiced surprise that Mr Rector could fall asleep in only the fourth inning, when the Yankees held a 2-1 lead in a game they eventually won 3-2.

They also wonder if an alert man eating chicken next to Mr Rector is his “buddy” who likes Mr Rector better when he sleeps.

“I’ll tell you what, though, how comfortable is that,” Kruk said. “He probably won’t have any neck problems tomorrow.”

The lawsuit notes that “millions of people all over the world turn out or tune in” to watch the famous Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

Representatives for Major League Baseball and the Yankees were not immediately available for comment.

Mr Rector and his lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Reuters