One New York Yankees fan who was shown on camera taking a snooze during an early season Yankees-Red Sox game has filed a defamation lawsuit against ESPN, commentators John Kruk and Dan Shulman, Major League Baseball and the Yankees.
The suit, filed this month in the New York State Supreme Court, alleges emotional distress caused by an “unending verbal crusade against the napping plaintiff,” Andrew Rector, and seeks $10 million in damages.
ESPN cameraman focused in on Rector, who was snoozing during the fourth inning of the April 13 game at Yankee Stadium. Shulman, in mid-promo for MLB’s streaming service, called the fan “oblivious.” Kruk speculated that the fan might have neck problems.
The lawsuit claims that the announcers “unleased an avalanche of disparaging words,” against the plaintiff. The lawsuit then attributes words to the announcers that were actually comments left by users on the MLB web site.
The suit also contains a number of spelling and grammatical errors, such as: “Nothing triggered all these assertions only that the plaintiff briefly slept off while watching the great game something or circumstance any one can easily found them self;” and “John Kruck in his verbal attack insinuated that the plaintiff is individual that know neither history nor understood the beauty or rivalry between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee.”
This article was republished with permission from the author, Dennis Pillion. The original article was published in AL.com and can be viewed by clicking here.