A New York man says television announcers who teased him
on air for falling asleep at a New York Yankees game should let
sleeping fans lie.
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 13 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 Rector "fatty,
unintelligent, stupid," and seeks $US10 million in damages.
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
"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
During the telecast, Kruk and Shulman voiced surprise that
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
Rector is his "buddy" who likes 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
Representatives for Major League Baseball and the Yankees
were not immediately available for comment. Rector and his
lawyer could not be reached for comment.