Tag Archives: Aaron Hernandez

Media Reacts: NFL’s First Month in 6 Years With No Arrests

by Nicholas Muhl

The first month of the 2015 NFL regular season ended this past weekend. The end of September also marked the first month in 6 years that no NFL player has been arrested.

According to Reuters reporter Mike Rosenberg, the NFL has averaged “an arrest per week” since 2009. Rosenberg also reported that this is the first time in 15 years “the NFL went a calendar month during the season without an arrest.” The league has already had 33 total arrests in 2015, most recently San Fransisco 49ers Linebacker Ahmad Brooks who was charged with sexual battery at the end of August.

Alexandra Sifferlin reported the news for TIME and included a link in his article to USA Today’s NFL arrest archive. The archive contains a complete, descriptive account of a total of 805 NFL player arrests records dating back 15 years to January 24, 2000 when Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith was arrested for allegedly beating and choking his wife. It seems paradoxical that 15 years later we continue to see so many similar headlines. Katie Link and Christian Bryant of the Ventura County Star posed this question about the news of an arrest-free month, “should we view this ‘achievement’ as pathetic, or impressive?” On the other hand, the Dispatch Times referred to it as a “mind-blowing milestone.”  

Since 2009 the NFL has been subject to many media and criminal investigations regarding their many player arrests. Most notably is former New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez who was convicted of murder in April. Hernandez and other high profile players like former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, San Francisco’s Ray MacDonald, Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, and Viking’s Adrian Peterson have made national headlines and brought up many social issues outside of the sport of football; including rape culture, drug use, animal cruelty, and alcohol and drug abuse. 

The criminal history and violent backgrounds behind many NFL players is not an issue the media has shied away from reporting. However, it is important to note that news of the NFL’s arrest-free month quickly spread on social media, sports blogs and major media conglomerates. This differs from the issue of injuries which I detailed in my article last week, “Protecting the player’s or Protecting the Shield”. Approximately 15 percent of players in the league have experienced an injury this season. While on an individual level this has been heavily reported, injuries and their increasing totals have been a largely avoided issue. However, media and the league did not shy away from making sure (quite literally) that everyone knows it went through an arrest-free month. The NFL and it’s PR department have attempted to put some distance between itself and both the injury and conduct issues the league faces, and will jump at any opportunity they can to make the league look better as it and commissioner Roger Goodell continue to face extreme criticism for the way the league is currently being run. It remains to be seen whether real change is progressing in the league or if this month was merrily a statistical anomaly that further proves the major conduct issues the NFL faces.

Nobody Wins: The Aaron Hernandez Trial

By Kaleb Page

April 20, 2015

As I got back to my apartment from class Wednesday afternoon the anticipated verdict in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial was in. After many months of legal debate between the prosecution and defense, the verdict was here.

Hernandez was convicted of first degree murder. A sentence of life in prison without a chance at parole.

Quite the unforeseen ending in what early on seemed like a person with promise of a bright future.

Hernandez, coming out of the University of Florida, was looked at as a potential first round pick and had the upside to be a difference maker for many years to come. However, there were red flags involving drug use and the people that he would be around. This meant that the once first-round talent dropped to the fourth round.

Waiting there was the New England Patriots organization, an organization that could take the risk on bringing in a guy like Hernandez and possibly find a way to shape his life in a positive way.

“Personally, I’ve always had concerns. He’s still finding himself. With the right people around, if he keeps his head straight, he’ll do very well.”Doug Pina, Aaron Hernandez’s high school football coach

That line of thinking seemed to be working as Hernandez grew into a fixture on the Patriots and grew as a better figure on and off the field. His accomplishments, coupled with his maturity, granted him a big contract extension.

The deal was made in 2012, and it was a deal to lock up the budding superstar tight-end. The deal was five-years at $40 million ($16 million guaranteed, $24 million incentives/other). This extension would allow Hernandez to be a Patriot for a long time and focus on being one of the best in the game.

“I just hope I keep going, doing the right things, making the right decisions so I can have a good life, and be there to live a good life with my family.” -Aaron Hernandez’s comments after signing his 5-yr $40 million extension

SI.com’s article broke down that quote further, and it just is bizarre to read that quote and see what the reality is today. Did he do the right things? Did he make the right decisions? Will he be there to live a good life with his family?

Across the board the answer is no.

I think it goes without saying that killing anyone is a horrible thing to do. Especially someone who is only at the age of 27 (Odin Lloyd). Odin Lloyd was a friend to Hernandez, a friend that was killed for what reason? As everyone searches for answers there seems to be none.

Simply a senseless killing that ruined many more lives than that of the defendant (Hernandez) and the deceased (Lloyd).

The list of those who are also essentially sentenced to their own version of life in prison could go on and on. Whether it is the mother of Odin Lloyd who raised her son by herself and held a close bond that made Lloyd tell his mother happy mother’s day and happy father’s day because she represented both figures to him. She is sentenced to a life without seeing or hearing from her son ever again.

It could be said too for the young daughter Hernandez has. A daughter that will really never know who her father is, and once she grows up to the point of where she can comprehend this moment in time; how will she view her father then?

It is sad to see these types of things happen in the world today. No matter if you are a friend/family member of the Hernandez family or a friend/family member of the Lloyd family, there is only one final verdict for all.

Nobody wins.

Aaron Hernandez Sentenced to Life in Prison

By Ellen Chlumecky

April 20, 2015

In the NFL, sometimes crime and domestic violence isn’t exactly solved with the utmost justice. These victims and their families of the lack of justice feel cheated, upset, and permanently scarred whether a small incident or large. However, this might be one of the exceptions. Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty on Wednesday, April 15th, of first-degree murder in a late-night shooting and was sentence to life in prison. Hernandez was a player who used to hold a $40 million contract and an aspiring career ahead of him. Now all of that is gone because of his tremendous mistake.

Hernandez was announced guilty in the killing of Odin Lloyd. Odin Lloyd was a 27-year-old landscaper and semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. Lloyd was shot six times in the middle of the night on June 17, 2013. He was shot in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough. The police accused Hernandez because they found the key of the car that Hernandez had rented in Lloyd’s pocket. The Patriots cut the player who was considered one of the biggest and best up and coming tight ends currently in the NFL. Prosecutors have suggested that Lloyd was killed because he might have known too much about Hernandez’s alleged involvement in a deadly 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston.

He was convicted with a mandatory sentence of life without parole and it automatically triggered an appeal to Massachusetts’ highest court. He was also found guilty on firearms and ammunition charges. The jury deliberated for 36 hours over seven days before rendering its verdict. About 135 witnesses were called to the stand during the nine-week trial. Hernandez was ordered to serve his life sentence at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts.

The District Attorney Thomas Quinn made a point to mention that the fact that Hernandez was a professional athlete meant nothing at the end of the day. Even though the Patriots removed Hernandez from the Patriots they declined to comment on the verdict of his sentence. Brandon Spikes and David Nelson, former teammates of Hernandez, tweeted about the verdict and were surprised at the decision. Spikes made a comment about the justice system, while Nelson mentioned how that wasn’t the person he knew.

Mayor Ken Cocakyne was one of the main people speaking about the sympathy he felt towards the Lloyd family. He stated that it was unfortunate that this had to be someone who young children looked up to and that he crashed their dreams. He stated that no matter who you are, you still have to live within the law and respect others. While I agree, hopefully this type of action can be taken with all crimes committed in the NFL.

Legal Process Halts Coverage of Aaron Hernandez

BY STEVE KUBITZA

Aaron Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd on June 26 of this year. He had been connected to the murder since June 18th, but it took that amount of time for him to be formally arrested and charged.

From the moment he was first attached to the murder up until his arrest, one could not turn on ESPN or go on any sporting news web sites without seeing headlines about Aaron Hernandez. This is not a complaint, as it was certainly a major news story, but rather an acknowledgement of the story’s significance. 

After his arrest, it was a daily topic of conversation on sports talk shows and news programs. The talk first surrounded his alleged involvement, but once evidence began to surface it focused on his troubled past. 

The talk has died down recently, with the only mention of his case being the legal process itself, such as the prosecutor and judge involved. The latest news had to do with the prosecutor asking the judge to recuse herself, which does not mean for sports fans.

This is not a call for more Hernandez coverage, as it is indeed monotonous to watch legal proceedings that are not even the trial when sports coverage is the desired viewing material.

The issue is that the legal process itself does not allow for proper coverage for an event with such magnitude. It is easily the biggest legal-based story of any athlete since the OJ Simpson trial back in 1994. 

The legal process creates a major gap in time between the arrest itself and a trial. The trial will not take place for months, and by then people may have forgotten that it was set to take place in the first place. 

Once the trial begins it will be a major news story, but his situation is still of major significance in the current moment, and it is not being talked about in such a way. That is not the fault of the media, as there is little to talk about, but it further points out how the legal system in this country is extremely delayed in its proceedings.