After such a promising start to his NFL career, images in the courtoom will be his final legacy.
Former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez committed suicide earlier today as reported by various media outlets by now. He hanged himself with a bed sheet by the window of his prison cell and with that, he effectively ended his life.
We shouldn’t feel sorry nor sympathy for him though, as he brought death upon other human beings. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of acquaintance Odin Lloyd in a highly publicized trial. Likewise, he was charged but found not guilty last week in the deaths of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado from back in 2012.
All this happened at the same time he was ascending and thriving as an NFL player. He was on the brink of becoming a superstar as the former tight end had been ranked the 5th best tight end in the last year he played in NFL (2012) and 6th the year before, respectively. Financially, he was doing just as well as he signed a 5 year contract extension worth $40 million in August 2012.
On the other hand, he and his high school sweetheart, Shayanna Jenkins became engaged in October 2012 while she was pregnant. She even took his last name and gave birth to their daughter on November 6, 2012. He had success, liquidity and a family. He had successfully “made it”, but he didn’t care as he never forgot where he had come from, Bristol, Connecticut.
Greg A. Bedard, formerly of the MMQB, said that one source close to Hernandez that he asked the Patriots for a trade in 2013 because his life was in danger. According to the source, a gang from Bristol had made demands after he signed his multi-million contract. Likewise, he would never hang out with people after practice, he would drive home to be with his old crew back in Bristol. He had the chance again and again to move on, he never did.
He pretended to be a changed man, but in reality he was just a “chameleon” according to Albert Breer of the MMQB. He fooled everyone, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and Breer himself admits to have fallen for the ruse as well. Breer says that a coach of Hernandez’ whom he knows well, described the latter as “the most talented liar I’ve ever been around.” and as such, “he could move as smoothly with guys in the financial district of Boston as he could with people on the street of his hometown.”
Hernandez took his life earlier today, finishing a life of highs and lows, but the suffering has not finished as many people, including his family, want to make sense of it. His legacy will be felt, just not the way we thought when he was on his way to set the NFL on fire.