Before anyone criticizes Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for setting up a table and charging more than $100 to sign his name to photos, jerseys, and/or footballs, it’s important to remember that any athlete who can get paid to give his autograph does.
And they should.
It’s America. It’s a capitalistic society. Our goods and services are worth whatever someone will pay for them, and we have every right to charge whatever the market will bear.
If people don’t want to pay Newton to sign stuff, they don’t have to. And while there are certain contexts in which charging for autographs is unseemly (such as when walking off the practice field), the essence of a free market is freedom.
Freedom to spend. Freedom to charge. Freedom to not charge. Freedom to do whatever you want to do within the confines of the law.
Did anyone criticize Tim Tebow for charging for autographs? No one should be criticized for selling something that others regard as valuable, again within the confines of the law.
The one caveat? If you’re going to sell your autographs, you’d better give Uncle Sam his cut. If you think you’re immune from that, we suggest entering the following terms into a Google search: Pete Rose tax evasion autograph.