Sleeping Yankees Fan Sues ESPN, MLB For $10 Million
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Yankees fan has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against two ESPN announcers contending they mocked him when he was caught on national television sleeping in his seat during a game at Yankee Stadium.
Andrew Robert Rector admits in court documents he “napped” during a game against the Boston Red Sox on April 13, but says commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk unleashed an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him.
The suit said they used words like “fatty” and “stupid.” Those words aren’t heard in a video of the broadcast that still appears on YouTube.
Rector’s suit said the announcers implied he was a “symbol of failure” and “a confused individual that neither understands nor knows anything about history and the meaning of rivalry” between the Yankees and Red Sox.
Rector said he suffered “substantial injury” to his “character and reputation” and “mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity.”
The lawsuit filed in Bronx Supreme Court Thursday also names ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Yankees as defendants. They didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
“It should send the message that idiots need to stay out of people’s business and not make fun of people who are harmless,” Rector’s mother told the New York Post.
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