If you’ve ever wondered why some athletes refuse to sign autographs, check out the YouTube link I’ve provided below.
I do a lot of writing for sports memorabilia publications and I’m happy to report that the vast majority of autograph enthusiasts I’ve met are first-class people. Most of them attend athlete signings because they want to meet one of their heroes. Unfortunately, the sense of entitlement exhibited by the dad in this video is becoming increasingly common.
Just to give you a little background before you watch the video: former Montreal Expo Gary Carter agreed to sign at this event for free. As is not uncommon at these events, rules were in place on what items Carter would and would not sign. It was stated explicitly that Carter would sign only baseball cards and the souvenir pieces of white paper that you’ll see in the video. Enter this cell phone-toting dad with a scheme that involves his kids (who probably wouldn’t know Gary Carter from Lady Ga Ga) attempting to have Carter sign 8-by-10 photos. He obviously knew it was against the rules to have these photos signed, but once he gets to the front of the line (wait until about the 50-second mark of the video), he asks Carter if he’ll sign the 8-by-10s for his kids. When Carter declines, he threatens the former Expo by saying he was going to put the video on YouTube. The dad says it so quickly that he appears to have planned this attack.
It’s one thing to be a jerk, but to involve your kids is reprehensible. Fortunately, as this video makes it rounds, it’s the cell-phone toting dad that most are condemning. Carter is clearly in a can’t win situation here and he handles it with as much class as can be expected. In fact, on sports memorabilia message boards many autograph collectors say that they are bigger Carter fans after watching this video.
But I offer this video as an example as to why some athletes decline to sign autographs in our cellphone-toting, TMZ world. It also serves as an example of the sense of entitlement that an increasing number of autograph enthusiasts seem to be exhibiting.
Here’s the link: