Reported by Krystle Crossman
We live in a very litigious society. People will sue for just about anything that they can these days. One of the most common lawsuits is for defamation of character. This is the case for New York Yankees fan Andrew Robert Rector who is suing ESPN, the Yankees, and the MLB organization. He is claiming that while he was dozing off at a Yankees versus Red Sox game, ESPN announcers John Kruk and Dan Shulman were making fun of him and publicly humiliating him.
Rector is making a claim for $10 million. He is saying that the words used by the announcers were hurtful and embarrassing. He admitted to dozing off during the game, which was obvious by the video, but felt that he was made fun of when the camera caught him. He stated that the two announcers poked fun knowing that millions of people would be hearing the broadcast and all of the viewers would be making fun of him. The claim that was filed was filled with typographical errors and said that the words that the announcers used were “suggesting” certain things such as suggesting he was a “fatty cow.”
When viewing the video clip from MLB.com, you can see the heavyset man slumped over in his chair sleeping peacefully as the game commences. The announcers can be heard questioning how long Rector has been asleep and how long he will remain sleeping in that position. They jest that he will probably have neck pain the next day due to the position of his head. They also talk about the guy that is sitting in the seat next to him who is thoroughly enjoying his chicken tender dinner and paying no attention to the sleeping man. Nowhere in the broadcast do you hear the words that were included in the suit such as “fatty, stupor, stupid, unintelligent.” The announcers stated that he may be oblivious to the fact that one of the greatest rivalries in baseball was happening right in front of him, but other than that no harmful remarks were made.