Tuesday, July 8, 2014

So, If You Fall Asleep at a Major League Baseball Game.....

Andrew Rector, sleeping in April
This morning, while watching The Today Show as I ate breakfast, I learned that one fellow who fell asleep during a Yankees baseball game, and was filmed sleeping, has sued the Yankees, the MLB, ESPN, and the TV commentators for $10 million for defamation due to allegedly disparaging comments about him that ranged from his appearance to his behavior allegedly made by the commentators.  He fell asleep during a Yankees -- Red Sox game.  Huh?  I'm not a huge baseball fan, and even I know about that particular rivalry.

But $10 million?  Really?

So, let's back up a bit.  This all happened at the April 13, 2014 game in New York.  Since the game was televised, the napping man, Andrew Rector, was caught on film.  The MLB posted the video with the voice over commentary of Dan Shulman and John Kruk at YouTube. It took Mr. Rector until July 3 to respond with a lawsuit that is riddled with typos (apparently, according to the NY Post).  My hearing is just fine, and I truly do not hear anything that would rise to the level of defamation in the commentators' remarks.  As for millions of people seeing Rector sleeping, well, he's clearly not done an image search of "sleeping baseball fan" lately.  There are hundreds of images out there that are not Rector but are sleeping baseball fans, both men and women, young and old.

But $10 million?  Really?

Mr. Rector may have been embarrassed, maybe even humiliated, by the attention he received on television.  He is now receiving far more attention and it's not terribly favorable.  It boggles my mind that Mr. Rector chose to sue, and not just ESPN, but everyone.  Someone needs to sit down with Mr. Rector and explain to him what a frivolous lawsuit is.

Is it too easy in America to sue?  It looks to me that we as a society need to make it more difficult to sue people and institutions over frivolous matters.  I suspect thin-skinned people will continue to attend baseball games, concerts, rallies, and other things where people congregate in public and where there is no expectation of privacy.

And I think Mr. Rector needs to get more sleep perhaps at night so he can better enjoy daytime activities.....

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