The man who sued ESPN, announcers John Kruk and Dan Shulman, the New York Yankees, and Major League Baseball for $10 million left court empty handed.
Andrew Robert Rector slept during a nationally-televised Red Sox-Yankees game in 2014. ESPN’s cameras fixated on him and its announcers commented on him. “Did he sleep through the Beltran homer?” John Kruk asked. “I mean 45,000 people stand up and cheer and he sleeps through.”
The Smoking Gun reported the setback for Rector this week. But the media fell asleep on the story. Way back during the dog days of August, when baseball fans remained transfixed on the field, New York Supreme Court Judge Julia Rodriguez issued her zzzzzzzz, zzzzzzz, ZZZZZZZZ.
Rector claimed in his lawsuit that the defendants caused him to endure abuse, citing the phrase “fatty cow that needs two seats” as one applied to him. But neither Kruk nor Shulman said anything of the sort. The mean-spirited types who watched the game and wrote about him online did.
New York Supreme Court Judge Julia Rodriguez pointed out that a recording of the game “conclusively determined that none of the defendants made any of the statements attributed to them in the complaint.” The judge pointed out that the game lasted three hours and the man’s appearances on camera lasted 31 seconds. Rodriguez noted of Kruk and Shulman that “nothing said by either of them could be considered a false statement,” helpfully adding, “which is a necessary element of a defamation action.”
Mr. Rector lost his lawsuit. He wins more ridicule.