Professional athletes are normal people no matter how highly we think of them. They can jump really high, run really fast and are really strong but they still bleed, cry and make mistakes. They are continuously in the public eye so therefore they are under a microscope and have to act differently than the rest of us. And whether they want to or not, they are role models to some people and they represent their sports. But after all that, a number of pro athletes just don’t seem to get it. They either can’t shake past demons, hang around the wrong people or they just don’t know how to act with a lot of money. That brings me to Aaron Hernandez.
Aaron Hernandez is the former tight end for the New England Patriots. He was released on June 26th after being arrested for murder. Later that day he was charged with 1st degree murder and 5 gun charges. That could lead to life in prison. Hernandez is also being investigated for a shooting incident from earlier this year. He had been in some trouble at Florida which caused him to drop to the 4th round of the draft after being labeled with having the dreaded “character concerns”. When someone is labeled with that it could have you not dropping at all to being an undrafted free agent.
Hernandez had kept his nose clean in the NFL until earlier this year. He even signed a 40 million dollar contract extension. Citing the patriots is where he wants to be and the “Patriot Way” changed him. The legal process still needs to play out but a lot of the damage is already done to his football career. But that’s not the important thing here. Yes he let down his teammates but he also has a child and a fiancée. Their lives have been changed forever in this story of another athlete’s career going off track. Stories of Ray Caruth, Maurice Clarett, Travis Henry and many more come to mind. Promising lives and careers destroyed because they just didn’t get it. Hopefully, for Hernandez, he can get through this and truly turn his life around. As for now, he will be just another story at the rookie symposium of what not to do in the NFL; right after Adam Jones is done speaking.