by Ryan Meehan
I do realize that even as freelance journalists, we have a little bit of responsibility to not jump the gun on a story where we don’t know all of the facts.
I am going to sort of break that brotherhood and that trust because I’m pretty convinced that this debacle involving New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is not going to go away any time soon.
For those of you who may have missed this in the wake of whatever national security breach story was getting shoved out of the way by the death of actor and healthy living enthusiast James Gandolfini, the Pats tight end has found himself in a bit of a pickle that even the hoodie can’t get him out of. And trust me – As someone who has seen this happen to several athletes before, it’s about to get a lot fucking worse for Hernandez.
Back in August, the New England Patriots gave Hernandez a new deal that extends through 2018 and included a record signing bonus for a tight end of $12.5 million dollars. But that may all be for naught now, as Tuesday authorities in Massachusetts searched Hernandez’s home after the death of semi-pro football player Olin Lloyd who was also Hernandez’ drinking buddy. Lloyd died in what appears to be an execution style homicide less than a mile from the football star’s million dollar home.
Hernandez has multiple connections to Olin’s death, and the evidence is mounting by the day. Not only had a vehicle rented in Hernandez’ name directly connected to the murder itself, but as police were combing a section of woods where the body was found by a teenage jogger, a story came out that Hernandez had tampered with his home security system and destroyed his own personal cell phone. Hernandez is likely to be arrested or at least brought in for questioning the next couple of days.
Now I’m no legal expert, and I certainly don’t want to put the guy in the proverbial electric chair just yet, but when you combine this with the fact that Hernandez also had his residence professionally cleaned shortly after the body was found it’s pretty hard to envision any scenario where he doesn’t know something. I’m not saying he is 100% guilty, but he knows who killed Lloyd that evening and probably knows the man well.
Shady rental car in superstar’s name that he would otherwise have no business renting so close to his own home? Check. Complete absence of a proclamation of innocence from either Hernandez or the law firm he hired just a couple of days ago? Check. Previous issue with discharge of a firearm in a Florida nightclub? Check. As much as I am aware that everyone in this country is presumed guilty until proven innocent, this is going to get a lot worse for Hernandez before it gets better.
Aaron Hernandez knows something that law enforcement officials are a mere matter of hours from figuring out. And whatever he’s gotten himself into, playing football this fall should be miles away from his train of thought because I’m saying right here and now he won’t (or at least shouldn’t) play a single game in the 2013 NFL season. When it comes to the league’s personal conduct policy, I’m sure that anything which results in human death is going to be a little bit higher on the list than a first offense for failing a drug screening.
The point of this piece is to alert everybody – stay tuned, because this is about to get really messy. This is a story about a high profile athlete known for having a bit of a temper who may for the first time in his life been involved in something so stupid he finally can’t buy his way out of it.