It has been more than eight months since Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder charge and later took his own life in a prison cell, but the NFL is still making a conscious effort to erase the former tight end from history.
On Thursday, the NFL released an eight-minute highlight reel that shows every one of the 69 touchdown passes Tom Brady has thrown or rushed for in his postseason career. Two of those scores — No. 38 and No. 41 — came with the help of Hernandez. As Tony Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub noticed, Hernandez’s name was strategically edited out of the video.
14 postseason appearances.
34 career games.
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2018
While Hernandez may have technically died an innocent man thanks to some outdated legal loophole, it’s no surprise the NFL wants to pretend he wasn’t part of the league’s history. A lot of people probably wouldn’t have even noticed if Hernandez’s name was mentioned in the highlight video, but that goes to show you how important “protecting the shield” can be.
A new report alleges that Aaron Hernandez may have set up a secret trust fund for his daughter before he committed suicide in prison.
Laurel J. Sweet of the Boston Herald reported Tuesday that an “AJH Irrevocable Trust” appeared in court documents, with the money in it left beyond the reach of creditors.
The purpose of such a trust would be to keep an undetermined amount of wealth, and beneficiaries would not be subject to other claims.
There are theories that Hernandez committed suicide as a means to protect his family from future litigation. This may be another example of the former NFL star acting on behalf of his family before his death.
The doctor who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disease better known as CTE, is convinced that the condition is what drove former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez to take his own life.
Hernandez’s fiancee Shayanna Jenkins filed a lawsuit against the Patriots and the NFL on Thursday, claiming the former tight end had a severe form of CTE and the league and team did nothing to protect him from it. Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who discovered CTE and inspired the film “Concussion,” told TMZ on Friday that he has no doubt the brain disease drove Hernandez to suicide.
“There is no question in my mind that CTE drove Aaron Hernandez to suicide and other criminal and violent behavior,” Omalu said. “If you read my book ‘Truth Doesn’t Have a Side’ you will encounter the Chapter titled ‘I bet my license OJ Simpson Has CTE,’ therefore, it should not be surprising that Aaron Hernandez eventually committed suicide.”
Omalu feels Hernandez’s family has a good chance to win the case and hopes it will lead to less children playing contact sports.
“I am yet to examine the brain of professional football player who does not have CTE or other forms of brain damage,” Omalu said. “And we have always known for centuries that if you suffer forceful and/or repetitive blows to your head in whatever human activity, you will suffer brain damage.
“If a child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure to brain damage. No child under the age of 18 in today’s America should be playing any of the high-impact, high-contact sports, and the big six are football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, rugby, boxing and wrestling. … Let us keep our children healthy and make them play only non-contact sports.”
If you remember, Omalu praised Tom Brady’s wife Gisele after she seemed to reveal that the four-time Super Bowl MVP has suffered multiple concussions throughout his career.
Jenkins is seeking compensation for being deprived of Hernandez’s presence.
The family of the late Aaron Hernandez is suing the New England Patriots and NFL, claiming the former tight end had severe CTE and the team failed to protect him from it.
Boston University’s School of Medicine examined Hernandez’s brain, and one of the professors, Dr. Ann McKee, concluded that Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE, which is one step below the most severe form — Stage 4. They also determined “Hernandez had early brain atrophy and large perforations in the septum pellucidum, a central membrane.”
According to the Boston Globe, Dr. McKee’s research shows “CTE is associated with aggressiveness, explosiveness, impulsivity, depression, memory loss and other cognitive changes.”
Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell in April even though he had recently been found not guilty in a double-homicide case. He was in prison because he had been found guilty in a previous murder case.
TMZ Sports reports that Hernandez’s fiancee is suing the Patriots saying they failed to adequately warn and protect Hernandez from the brain disease. The suit says the NFL and Patriots “were fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”
The two are seeking compensation for being deprived of Hernandez’s presence.
The New England Patriots have maintained all along that they had no knowledge of any of the criminal activity Aaron Hernandez was involved in while the late former NFL tight end was with them, but lawyers are still calling for the team to pay damages.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Hernandez’s estate said in court Tuesday that the Patriots should step up and compensate the family members of the victims.
“We would welcome the Patriots looking into that issue and doing the right thing, which is to compensate the victims,” Kenneth Kolpan, a lawyer for the family of Daniel de Abreu, said according to the Boston Globe.
Along with Safiro Furtado, de Abreu was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. Hernandez was charged with the murders but acquitted just days before he hung himself in his prison cell.
While Hernandez was not convicted of the murders, the families of the victims are still suing his estate. William Kennedy, a lawyer for Furtado’s family, told reporters on Tuesday that the Patriots could help “make amends” by compensating his clients.
“I think they’re in a position to do that,” Kennedy said. “That would be welcome.”
A lawyer for Odin Lloyd, a man whom Hernandez was convicted of killing but later had the conviction overturned because of an outdated legal principle in Massachusetts, has also called for the Patriots to pay damages.
It’s highly unlikely that the Patriots will end up writing any checks. The families of the victims aren’t the only ones seeking money from the team, but voluntarily paying would come across as admitting some sort of responsibility. That is not going to happen.
Aaron Hernandez is an innocent man as far as the state of Massachusetts is concerned, but the district attorney who prosecuted the former NFL tight end in the Odin Lloyd murder trial is still working to have that changed.
According to CBS Boston, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III has filed an appeal asking a Supreme Court judge to reinstate Hernandez’s murder conviction after it was vacated because of an “archaic rule.”
“This is an archaic rule not based on the Constitution, and it should be changed,” Quinn wrote in the appeal. “A defendant who commits suicide should not be able to manipulate the outcome of his post-conviction proceedings to achieve in death what he would not be able to achieve in life. We are asking the Supreme Judicial Court to address this antiquated rule, which does not serve the public interest.”
Hernandez was convicted of murdering Lloyd in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison in 2015. He was also charged with double-murder stemming from a 2012 incident outside a Boston nightclub, but he was acquitted in April. Less than a week later, Hernandez hung himself inside his prison cell.
One popular theory is that Hernandez killed himself to protect his estate and assure his fiancee and daughter a more secure future. You can read more about that here.
Even if the legal principle that resulted in Hernandez’s conviction being overturned is outdated and “archaic,” it still applied at the time of his death. The decision will likely stand even if the law is changed at some point.
An inmate who is being housed at the same correctional facility where Aaron Hernandez committed suicide is convinced the former NFL star wrote a suicide note to him, and he wants police to deliver it to its rightful owner.
In a statement he released to Radar Online, Kyle Kennedy claimed he had a “close relationship” with Hernandez.
“I want to be clear that at no time have I seen a note addressed to me from my close friend Aaron Hernandez but I have reason to believe it was in fact intended for me,” Kennedy said. “It was the press that first reported that this letter was sent to me and as a result, my attorney, Larry Army Jr., has repeatedly requested a copy for us to review.”
Previous reports claimed Kennedy has Hernandez’s lover and that Hernandez left behind an expensive watch for his fellow inmate as a gift. Kennedy mentioned the watch and said he will address the rumors about his personal life in the future.
“The story about who this letter was sent to has changed several times, but based upon the close relationship that I had with Aaron, it is highly likely that it was in fact intended for me,” he told Radar. “I again renew my request to have the letter released to my attorney so we can put this issue to rest.
“In addition, my attorney has spoken at length about the watch that Aaron told me he was leaving to me as a gift. I have no further comment on that issue at this time. There has been a lot said about me and my personal life in recent weeks, some of it accurate and some of it not. I remain incarcerated at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley but at the appropriate time, I will address these issues and set the record straight.”
It’s unclear if the timing was a coincidence, but Kennedy’s statement came not long after an interview aired in which Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, addressed the reports about Aaron being gay.
Jenkins-Hernandez said her fiancee wrote three notes — one to her, one to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, and one to Hernandez’s legal team.
A previous report claimed Hernandez’s sexual preference was part of the investigation into the murder of Odin Lloyd.