I was hoping that I never had to write this. In fact, this isn’t even the original article I wrote. Every time I picked up the keyboard to finish, I just couldn’t do it. I had my own opinion on the scenario, and it changed daily. I was on the “he did it- he was an accessory- he had nothing to do with it” cycle for the last eleven days and I just couldn’t post an opinion with actually having a solid one. Then I started to realize something- it wasn’t that I couldn’t come up with a definitive opinion, it was that I didn’t want to admit my gut feeling. From the start, I felt that this was bad, real bad, and I knew Hernandez was going to jail, but the fan in me couldn’t face the truth.
The truth slapped me in the face at about 2:30 pm yesterday.
Many of the young men in the NFL are from areas where they have a tough upbringing and they end up getting involved in the wrong situations. Hernandez is the poster boy for this, but that by no means is an excuse, it’s just a fact. Hernandez had issues in high school, college, and now we are hearing what he was like with his teammates behind closed doors. There are rumors of threats to Wes Welker and fistfights with unnamed teammates, and he also had no strong friendships with anyone on the team. Matt Light was quoted today saying “I never talk about other guys, but I will say that I never embraced, never believed in, anything Aaron Hernandez stood for.” When I hear these statements, it’s clear to me that as soon as Hernandez ended up back in New England, he got right back into the things that got him in trouble in college and high school.
Aaron Hernandez is a bad guy, plain and simple. He is also a criminal, and that cannot be argued regardless of the outcome of the murder trial. Being caught on camera with an illegal gun is going to keep him in jail for awhile and the timeline of evidence laid out by the North Attleboro DA made it clear that Hernandez is looking at life in prison. Like I said before, Hernandez never left his past behind, but now I don’t look at him as a follower with the wrong crowd, I see him as the leader and a hardened criminal. When I heard the DA explain how Odin Lloyd was killed, I couldn’t help but think that Hernandez is hiding something big, and the “trust” issue had to be about something involving drugs or worse. Today we were awoken to reports that Hernandez is now being investigated in a double murder that occurred in Boston in July of 2012. What we thought was the worst day in Patriots history might just be the first step down a very dark path.
I would love to talk about the roster implications, but right now I can’t even think about it. A young man was murdered for senseless reasons, and another young man, who now appears to be a sociopath, has possibly thrown his life away because he felt “disrespected.” The only person who was disrespected was Bob Kraft for trusting Hernandez with a 40 million dollar contract, a contract that was appropriately torn up yesterday around 10:30 am.
Odin Lloyd should be alive today, and I hope his family can take solace in that he sensed he was in danger and sent those two case-breaking text messages. He may not have been able to save his own life, but helping to get Aaron Hernandez behind bars might have saved more lives going forward.
Follow Chris @ https://twitter.com/chris_simoneau