The Demise of Aaron Hernandez Was All About Choices

Rodriquez // MCT Campus

Aaron Hernandez’s story is probably the most captivating and tragic tale to happen to the sports world since maybe OJ Simpson. In 2010, he was drafted by the New England Patriots. The NFL’s model franchise signed him to a forty-million dollar contract, the second largest ever for a tight-end in the NFL. With a promising career in the works, millions of dollars headed to his pockets, a beautiful new baby daughter and a fiancé, Hernandez lost it all in moments.

On June 26, 2013, I watched the Pats prodigy being led out of the front yard of his local home in handcuffs. It was surreal. In August of 2013 he was indicted in the murder of Oden Lloyd. In April of 2015 Hernandez was found guilty of first degree murder. In Massachusetts, this means an automatic sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

Hernandez recently went on trial again for the alleged double murder case he was so heavily linked to. Casey Anthony’s famed attorney went up to bat for him. In a plot twist, Hernandez was found not guilty. To me, everything seemed so ironic. Hernandez was acquitted for two murders he undoubtedly committed. Had he not killed Lloyd, who he was convinced was going to snitch on the two murders, he would be a free man. That realization is what appeared on Hernandez’s face when he began to sob after the verdict was read.

Five days after his acquittal, Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell. It is reported that he had a bible verse that referenced eternal life written across his forehead. After his lawyers and family commented and said that he never would have killed himself, conspiracy theories began to fly that Hernandez was actually murdered. The latest reports state that upon the results of an autopsy, Hernandez’s death is officially being ruled a suicide.

I have always been drawn to Hernandez’s story. I believe that it will definitely be one of the most tragic occurrences to happen in sports during my lifetime. The idea that a young, rising star can throw away the world with his very own choices is compelling, for lack of a better word. People can speculate about why he killed himself and why he chose the things that he chose. I think that the cruel comments about his suicide are in poor taste. His choices and his life are all part of a greater tragedy. There are multiple families and victims that have had their lives altered, perhaps most of all, his four year old daughter. It is so easy to wonder what could have been for Aaron Hernandez. Ultimately, crazy money, a family who loved him, and the promise of a Super Bowl ring was never enough to erase the demons of Hernandez’s past that would haunt him all the way until his final day.


Hayley Mignacca

News and Sports Editor