By: EZNO MORALES
Aaron Hernandez was a football star born in Bristol, Connecticut to an athletic family. His brother played football for the University of Connecticut as a quarterback and a wide receiver; and earned the rights to be a two-year captain for the team as well as the Gatorade Player of the Year in High School. While his father, Dennis Hernandez, was a running back for the University of Connecticut and helped Aaron establish a football career. All this made Aaron’s life become perceived as “the perfect lifestyle”. But little did the public know, his father would sexually abuse the high school star. He would also forbid acts that were viewed as unmanly and would tend to beat his kids up if they said something he didn’t like. Jonathan Hernandez, Aaron’s brother told Globe in an interview “I remember (Aaron) wanted to be a cheerleader. My cousins were cheerleaders and amazing, And I remember coming home and like my dad put an end to that really quick. And it was not OK. My dad made it clear that … he had his definition of a man.(Per: Link)” This made Aaron struggle with his sexual identity which paved the way for relationships with other boys his age. Dennis SanSoucie, the high school quarterback said “Me and him were very much into trying to hide what we were doing. We didn’t want people to know. (Per: Link)”. He although added that after disclosing their affair that, “I really truly feel in my heart I got the thumbs-up from him. (Per: Link)”
Hernandez was one of the best players for the patriots setting a rookie record for most catches by a tight end in 2010. He then led the patriots to the Superbowl the next season only to lose against the New York Giants in a close 21-17 game. But even after the loss, the Patriots were so impressed with what a young Aaron Hernandez could do and offered him a $40 million dollar extension. After accepting the deal, Hernandez said “This is a place that not only did it change my future from them paying me, but it just changed me as a person. Because you can’t come here and act reckless. … You get changed by [head coach] Bill Belichick. You get changed by the ‘Patriot Way.’ Now, that I’m a Patriot, I have to start living like one and making the right decisions. (Per: Link)” Although ten months after signing the extension, Aaron hernandez was arrested in his home and was charged with murder against Odin Lloyd.
In 2013, Aaron Hernandez was convicted with first-degree murder against Odin Lloyd. Reports state that on approximately 2:30 am on June 17, Hernandez and two other friends picked up Lloyd from his home.While on the way to an isolated area where Lloyd would spend his last moments, Hernandez mentioned how much he hated the fact that Lloyd spoke to people Hernandez had trouble with. Lloyd then proceeded to text his sister, “Did you see who I am with?”, when his sister replied with who, Lloyd then answered “NFL” and a minute later “Just so you know”. This would be his last known text because minutes after Lloyd was killed. Hours after, Hernandez was captured in his home and released from the Patriots. The Patriots then released a statement stating, “Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation,” the Patriots said in a statement. “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. (Per: Link)” He would later be sentenced to life in prison in 2015 and would hang himself in his cell in 2017.
The short and tragic life of Aaron Hernandez just proves that no matter where you are in life, anything can happen with just one bad decision. It doesn’t matter if you’re LeBron James or a homeless man living in the streets, your life can go up or down in an instant.