What does this say about whom? While the NFL stopped selling Aaron Henandez jerseys after the ex-Patriot was charged with first-degree murder last week, the jerseys have become a hot item – on eBay.
According to NBC Sports, Patriots fan John Lamothe got $289 for a Hernandez jersey he put on eBay last week.
“I thought about giving it to Goodwill, but I didn’t think anybody would want it,” Lamothe told the Boston Globe. “I thought I might get $15 for it.”
The New England Patriots released Hernandez 90 minutes after he was arrested last Wednesday and announced it would not willingly pay him another penny.
Not only has the team removed all Hernandez-related memorabilia from store shelves, the ProShop at Gillette Stadium offered fans who bought a Hernandez jersey at the store the chance to exchange it for that of another player.
Patriot fan Lynn L’Heureux doesn’t understand the fascination with the jersey:
“I can’t think of any reason why people would want it. They might think it will go up in value later on, and maybe it will, but I’m not interested. I just don’t want it in my possession.”
While I’m sure some of the interest in the jersey of a former NFL player now charged with first-degree murder is speculative, I suspect there’s another – more troubling – reason as well. It’s gangsta, man. And gangsta is “cool.”
What is cool about premeditated execution-style murder? What is cool about a young man with his whole life in front of him – who just signed a $40 million contract – carelessly throwing that life away because he vengefully took another? (Hernandez is also suspected in a 2012 double-murder.)
What is cool about this guy?
I’d like to believe the fascination with Hernandez – and his jersey – will be short-lived, but something tells me more than a few #81s will show at Gillette Stadium come football season. The question is, will they be allowed in? I hope the answer is “NO.” Gangsta – or not.