If you’re here to read a warm biography of Aaron Hernandez, stop reading. Similarly, if you want the tragic pity party, go elsewhere. Bluntly put, Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd. A jury found him guilty on April 15, 2015. As a result, his sentence of life without parole seemed fitting. Last week, a jury found him not guilty in the homicides of two other men. People confuse not guilty with innocent. Originally a 2010 fourth round pick, Hernandez’s stock fell due to behavior. (Note: The Raiders chose Jacoby Ford ahead of him.) RaiderNation once took pride in being a safe haven for malcontents. Yet, even they were disturbed by Hernandez’s attitude. Where did things go sideways?
Home Life: Sadly, Hernandez’s defenders will point out to his upbringing and rough background/home life. First, let’s examine that. He grew up in Bristol, CT. Bristol isn’t known as a hotbed of criminal activity. While any city over 50 thousand will see some crime, don’t make it out like Camden or Philly. Hernandez’s parents raised him until his father died. Be that as it may, Hernandez was 16. In a year’s time, he would head off to college.
Coaches/Owner: Perhaps the single greatest influence on a player’s life, Hernandez’s coaches enabled the bad behavior to snowball. Case in point, as a freshman at Florida, he assaulted a restaurant employee. Five months later, authorities suspected Hernandez in a double shooting. Where was Head Coach Urban Meyer? Right away, the first incident should’ve led to instant dismissal. However, Florida seemed too busy winning national championships. Hernandez operated freely in Gainesville, knowing his coach would not stop him. Meyer knew of all of these deeds and slinked out of town, finding success at Ohio State
After the Patriots drafted him, the criminal behavior continued. In 2012, Hernandez allegedly shot and killed two men in Boston. Last week, a court cleared him of those charges. How did the Patriots not know who they drafted? They knew. In an interview with ProFootballTalk, former Patriots consultant Floyd Reese admitted to knowing about issues. Yet, he owns up to not caring about the off-field issues. In spite of a multitude of issues, New England rolled the dice. Additionally, the most dishonest person in all of this appears to be owner Robert Kraft. During an interview, Kraft said that Hernandez “duped him and the whole organization” How? There were multiple police reports and lawsuits pending.
Not to mention, New England signed him to a 40 million dollar contract in August 2013. A month earlier, Hernandez was at the scene of the double murder in Boston. Plus, he shot someone in the face eleven months later in Miami. That man lived. Five days after the Miami shooting, Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd. Again, where are the New England Patriots? For Kraft to play dumb in this situation insults intelligence. NFL Team Security usually consists of former police officers, investigators and FBI agents. For instance, how the NFL layers its security force is described here. The Patriots tried to pull the greatest con by lying to the public. Then again, covering up shady behavior is the Patriot Way.
As the draft rapidly approaches, this tale should give teams pause about taking on character issues. Consequently, any player with red flags from Joe Mixon cannot join the Raiders. Granted, his offense isn’t as severe as Hernandez, violence is a slippery slope.
With that said, imagine a team with an undeserved reputation like the Raiders drafted Hernandez. The media would scream for heads to roll and investigations. The Patriots escape because, they’re the Patriots. As Oakland fans know, people hold on to an image of a bygone era. Those Raiders were hard-partying, brawlers. Not cold-blooded killers. Before anyone brings up Anthony Smith, remember he wasn’t under contract and long retired.
Aaron Hernandez is dead. For this reason, his story needs to end. In essence, no tears should fall for him. However, his daughter is the only person that deserves condolences. In that case, she needs prayers, because someone will have to talk to her about who her father was. As a parent, I cannot fathom what someone would say to that child.
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