State Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) has introduced legislation which would fine athletes and other entertainers from charging children under 16 for autographs. Under Marcellino’s legislation, those who charge kids for autographs would be fined $100 per autograph.
"It is sickening to think that multi-million dollar stars are further lining their pockets with the money of children. The practice of charging young people for autographs is particularly distasteful when you consider that athletes are very often viewed as heroes. My legislation is intended to protect our children from price gouging by people who don’t need the money," said Senator Marcellino.
Senator Marcellino's legislation, while not banning autograph shows or events, would prohibit the sale of autographs by professional athletes and professional entertainers to persons under the age of sixteen. Violators will be subject to a $100.00 fine for each violation.
"If you read the newspapers or watch the news, rarely does a day go by that there isn’t a report about greed. Whether it is a corporate CEO or a stockbroker accused of insider trading, most of us feel that greed is wrong. If there is a group which should be protected from the tentacles of greed, it is our children. By forbidding our kid’s heroes from charging them for autographs we are making a strong statement," continued Senator Marcellino.
"Being a kid and meeting your favorite sports star, actor or musician can be an experience to be remembered forever. To have that memory be sullied by the need to pay for an autograph is wrong. Being a child is a time of growing, experiencing new things, but most importantly, it is about learning. We need to ensure that our children are learning the right lessons. Watching someone signing an autograph out of kindness and caring for their young fans is much better than teaching kids that money gets you anything," concluded Senator Marcellino.