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Why a Yankees Fan Is Suing ESPN for $10 Million NY Post, NY Times

A Yankees fan has filed a $10 million lawsuit against ESPN, the New York Post reports. The suit comes after the fan, Andrew Rector, fell asleep during a game at Yankee Stadium and was mocked by two ESPN announcers during the telecast of the game.

Rector is also suing the team and the two announcers, Dan Shulman and John Kruk, for defamation, claiming the announcers targeted him with an “avalanche of disparaging words” because of his nap. Rector said he “briefly slept” during the April 13 game, but claims Shulman and Kruk made “false statements,” such as that he is a “fatty cow that needs two seats.”

In a video posted on Major League Baseball’s website, Shulman said “this guy’s oblivious” while Kruk noted, “This is not the place you come to sleep.” While the lawsuit maintains the pair used words such as “fatty” and “stupid,” neither announcer uses those words in the clip, The New York Times notes.

It’s not clear whether they spoke about Rector later in the game, however, The Times notes.

“What is clear is that Mr. Rector became the target of some online ridicule. Unkind comments from viewers of the clip appeared on YouTube and M.L.B.’s site,” The Times adds.

A spokesman for ESPN called the lawsuit “frivolous” but declined to comment further on it; the Yankees declined to comment. A representative for MLB didn’t return calls, The Times notes.

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