Whether you’re a sports fan or not, by now you’ve probably seen, heard about or read about the guy who is suing MLB and ESPN for $10 million after he fell asleep at a Yankees-Red Sox baseball game and was heckled by announcers.
As a human being, a baseball fan and a Yankees fan, this disgusts me. Going to any public sporting event opens you up to the possibility of being one of the 40,000 fans who gets caught on camera doing something embarrassing. You fell asleep (in the fourth inning, mind you) and you got picked on. The only note I’ll make in his defense is that the announcers took a slight jab at the fan’s well-rounded figure. Then again, one of the announcers, John Kruk, who is infamously well-rounded, himself, took a jab at his own figure.
Yes, the announcers went a little further than I thought they would, but I definitely didn’t think it was an “avalanche of disparaging words,” as the New York Post reported. Andrew Rector, now the most famous Yankees fan — and I use that term very lightly — since Jeffrey Maier, said in his suit that, as a result of the incident, he has “suffered substantial injury” to his “character and reputation,” as well as “mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity,” as stated in The Post.
You would think that this guy would embrace the fact that he was on national television; if anything, making a joke of it. By suing MLB and ESPN, he is not only giving baseball fans — again, using the term “fan” very lightly with him — a bad name, but he is also opening the door to a wave of public scrutiny. If he was offended by what Kruk and co-anchor Dan Shulman said, Rector better sign off and/or delete all of his social media accounts immediately. Not only that, word is bound to get out about where he lives, where he works, etc., where people are bound to harass him in-person.
I am not one to take the “Americans-are-all-high-and-mighty” route, but we have it pretty good in this country. With that being said, it annoys me to see “cases” like this. America has to have the highest number of frivolous lawsuits of anywhere in the world. It amazes me what people are allowed to sue for and what people sue for and win/settle.
Baseball has a hard enough time trying to re-gain its popularity, and this suit — especially since it was during a game that is arguably the biggest rivalry in the sport — only sets the sport back.
I’ve been seeing people on Facebook and Twitter post things like, “typical Yankees fans,” or something to that effect. No. Going to a Yankees game and wearing Yankees paraphernalia does not make you a Yankees fan. The fact that he fell asleep in the fourth inning shows that he doesn’t respect the game of baseball and the fact that he fell asleep during a Yankees-Red Sox game shows that he is not a true fan of the team. And before you go into the “who are you to say who is a fan,” argument let me just end with this: if he were a true fan of the team or the sport, he would not be suing.