Fan Caught Sleeping at Yankees Game Suing ESPN for $10 Million in Damages

Jake SilverSocial Media StaffApril 13, 2014

ESPN, h/t Next Impuse Sports

Update: July 7, 2014 at 2:50 p.m. ET

The fan who was caught sleeping is suing ESPN for $10 million in damages. The Smoking Gun reported the details:

ESPN announcer Dan Shulman referred to the sleeping fan as “oblivious,” while John Kruk, the network’s color commentator, noted that the ballpark was “not the place you come to sleep.” Shulman also wondered whether the fan had slept through a third inning home run by Yankee Carlos Beltran (which, Shulman said, prompted the crowd of 45,000 to “stand up and cheer”).

In his complaint, which was filed this month in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, Rector contends that he was subjected to an “unending verbal crusade” by the ESPN announcers. The comments caused Rector...emotional distress, according to the July 3 lawsuit.

Perhaps the most serious of the allegations are listed in point No. 10 on the document:

ESPN cameras focused on the plaintiff, Announcers like Dan Shulman and John Kruck unleashed avalanche of disparaging words against the person of and concerning the plaintiff. These words, include but not limited to 'stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid.'

Sports Business Journal media reporter John Ourand tweeted out ESPN's response:

ESPN on the sleeping fan lawsuit: “The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers were clearly not said in our telecast...(1/2)

— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 8, 2014

ESPN: "...The claims presented here are wholly without merit.” (2/2)

— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 8, 2014

Below is the original broadcast. The filed legal document can be read here.


Original Text

One fan at the AL East clash between the New York Yankees and the rival Boston Red Sox apparently wasn't too thrilled by the action.

Dude at the Yankees game dead sleep.

— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) April 14, 2014

[MLB.comNext Impulse Sports, Twitter]