Sleeping Fan Lawsuit Has Little Merit

sleeping fan
This gentleman is suing ESPN and MLB for commenting negatively on his 4th inning nap.

You don’t know Andrew Rector but there’s a good chance you’ve seen Andrew Rector in the last few days if you’re a sports’ fan. Rector is the man who is now suing ESPN and Major League Baseball for $10 million for defamation. What did these two monstrous entities do to the 26-year old Rector?

Rector was in attendance at the April 13th Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game in Yankee Stadium when he was spotted by ESPN cameramen sleeping during the top of the fourth inning of a 2-1 game. ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk both made comments about Rector which he claims were part of an “unending verbal crusade.”

OK, OK… Let’s break this phrase down for a second here. First of all, the term ‘unending’ means that something will never end. This came to an end in a matter of seconds and immediately went back to the game. Secondly, the term ‘verbal’ is appropriate so Rector has both ESPN and MLB there doesn’t he? Lastly, the term ‘crusade’ refers to military operations during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries in an effort to spread Christianity.

While I realize ‘crusade’ is often used in different ways today in the 21st, gimme a freaking break.

John Kruk isn't exactly a picture of health himself, but his comments were not unlike those of others in his situation.

Has Mr. Rector considered who it was that was poking fun at him? John Kruk isn’t exactly a picture of health people. Kruk is a long-time ESPN Baseball Analyst who often looks as though he just left a van down by the river, stopped for a couple beers and a donut, then headed off to work.

This isn’t too far from how he looked during his playing career mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies. In essence, this was the pot calling the kettle black. This is far from the first time that TV announcers have commented on fans in the stands at sporting events.

Perhaps you remember Brent Musberger basically falling in love during the 2013 National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame. The camera caught Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend Katherine Webb and Musberger couldn’t stop talking about her. While Miss Webb is a great deal more attractive than Mr. Rector (just my opinion), she at least took advantage of her 15 minutes of fame and was seen just about everywhere there was to be seen.

I’m of the opinion that maybe Mr.Rector should have taken advantage of his situation. For all the attention he received, he should have run with it but he has chosen the ‘American way out’ by suing. It’s his right but going after $10 million based on ‘defamation’ just isn’t going to happen. The announcers in this case were just expressing what they saw and that’s hardly defamation.

My question for Mr. Rector is this; why are you falling asleep during the fourth inning of a game you are attending? I get falling asleep at home in your easy chair or on your couch but at the game? I would be curious to know how much Mr. Rector paid for his seats. Granted, this year’s version of the Bronx Bombers isn’t exactly the 1927 Yankees but tickets to a Red Sox game are still pretty pricey.

In other words, that was one expensive nap for Mr. Rector.

In all seriousness, if Mr. Rector was truly embarrassed and felt shamed then I feel bad for him but only for a moment. When we as fans enter a stadium in any major professional sport their overall expectation of privacy goes out the window. A fan should realize this immediately when they are patted down or forced through a metal detector.

My belief is that Mr. Rector’s lawsuit will be tossed out rather quickly as it should be.