New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) reaches for a pass during the first quarter of the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. The pass fell incomplete. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Opinion: Aaron Hernandez release sends right statement

The New England Patriots have wasted no time cutting Aaron Hernandez loose, and this comes to the surprise of almost nobody. Yesterday, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss stated that the Pats could release Hernandez even if he isn’t charged with murder, and you can just call Reiss psychic after Hernandez’s release today. About two hours after his arrest, the Patriots released Hernandez without even knowing what the exact charge is. Imprudent? I don’t think so. Because it doesn’t matter what the charge is, Hernandez has already done enough to hurt this organization.

Not convinced? Re-read the statement from the Patriots (if you have already seen it), “A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”

For all the talk of how the Patriots are a heartless organization filled with cheaters, their actions today disprove that they have hearts of stone. This is an incredibly sincere apology, and the first thing they mention is Odin Lloyd. Throughout all of this thanks to the publicity of Aaron Hernandez, we have forgotten Odin Lloyd and his family; the true victims. If Hernandez did indeed murder Lloyd or was an accomplice (I believe he was at least an accomplice), then he took part in one of the most sickening acts a person can commit. I absolutely despise it when people tweet “Free Hernandez” or “I support Hernandez through it all”. Those people forget the true victims, because Hernandez, the Patriots, and the fan base are not victims. Not in the least bit.

Moving on from Hernandez this soon might raise some questions, but waiving him just had to be done. He’s already made the Patriots look terrible. The Patriot Way? It’s still alive. The actions of one man independent of the team do not create the values established by the organization, and the Patriots have proved it by releasing Hernandez.

And to be honest, how can you fully believe in Hernandez’s innocence? He destroyed evidence. He has an association with the victim on multiple accounts. He was just arrested. He has had character concerns in the past and a lawsuit that may or may not have been bogus. He’s still innocent until proven guilty and I know I should hold back, but no part of my conscience can believe that this man is truly innocent. What of the other two men? I don’t know, and I can’t wait to hear more about them.

Hernandez may never play another snap of football again, and I am certain that he will never play another snap for the New England Patriots organization. He has made this team look terrible due to his arrest and his actions (destroying evidence). Maybe I should hold off, but this arrest was the last straw for me. Obstruction of justice? You might as well just say he was involved in the murder, because what innocent man destroys evidence? Was he protecting his friends? Let’s hope not, because covering up a murder makes him an accomplice.

At the end of the day, I want justice to be served, and that’s regardless of whether or not Hernandez ended up guilty or not. Obviously as a Pats fan I would hope it wasn’t Hernandez and that he isn’t a disgusting enough human being (or idiotic enough human being) to be involved in the act, and we don’t even know if he did it. But I want justice to come for Odin Lloyd and his family, because they sure deserve at least that much.

The Hernandez chapter in New England is over, and we will soon see if his chapter in the league is over. I know that the Patriots made the right decision to cut ties, and no player is valuable enough to keep in this sort of situation. Hernandez may have thrown away a promising NFL career, and I’d like to know the full details, especially if he did it. Everyone wants to know the “Who?”, but I like learning the “Why?” so all pieces fall in place.

The Patriots showed some real class with this release, and this is why you shouldn’t tarnish an organization over the actions of one player. Because you never know what the team is really thinking. This release makes me feel proud to be a fan of the New England Patriots, and I know in my heart that I don’t want Hernandez back on this team after all this. I wonder if the players would either. He has been arrested, but we’ll see what he’ll be charged with at the arraignment. Murder? Just obstruction of justice?

If he is found not guilty, then he should definitely continue to play for a team in this league. It just won’t be with the New England Patriots, and it’s probably for the better. It’s time for all of us to vent, and it’s time for all of us to focus more of our attention to Odin Lloyd, who was 27. IT’s time to turn our attention to his family, who lost someone close to them and deserve justice whether it causes Hernandez to be indicted or not.

What a statement by the Pats, both literally (the statement above) and figuratively (the statement implied). The Patriot Way is alive and well, but let’s not make it a thing of cult-variety by trying to use it as a way to give the Patriots moral infallibility- nothing good comes of that. But the Patriots deserve heaps of praise for releasing Hernandez and their actions today, but we shall soon see Hernandez’s fate.

He is innocent until proven guilty, yes. But the fact that the Patriots released him so quickly also makes me wonder if they know something we don’t. I highly doubt it, but it does make you wonder a bit. The important thing is that they did the right thing and reacted much better, as Ed Werder said, than the Cowboys did in the Josh Brent situation.

 



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