From Patriot to Prisoner: The Fall of Aaron Hernandez and What We Can Learn From It

Last week, inmate W106228 began serving a life sentence at MCI-Cedar Junction Prison in Massachusetts. Inmate W106228, also known as Hernandez 2former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez who was convicted of first degree murder and various firearms charges in connection with Odin Lloyd’s brutal murder.  Hernandez, and two accomplices, shot Lloyd execution style and left his bullet riddled body in a Boston area industrial park in June of 2013.

Immediately after the verdict was announced, Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Many are wondering how and why someone who had “THE LIFE”; meaning a contract in excess of 40 million dollars, a role as a starter on the New England Patriots, a 1.7 million dollar mansion, and a beautiful baby girl.

What led to Hernandez’s swift fall from grace? The answer is simple, although Hernandez’s prodigious athletic ability provided him an escape from trouble, however, he inexplicably refused to disassociate himself from unsavory characters.

Prior to his recent arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez was no stranger to violence. In April of 2007, while a freshman at the University of Florida, Hernandez assaulted an employee at a Gainesville Hernandezrestaurant, rupturing a man’s eardrum. Less than six months later, Hernandez was rumored to have shot two men at a stop light near campus after an altercation at a nightclub. In July of 2012, Hernandez is suspected of killing two men after a confrontation at a bar in Boston over a spilled drink.  In February of 2013, Hernandez allegedly shot former friend Alexander Bradley, in the face after departing a Miami strip club after an argument over a bar tab.  The most obvious strain in the majority of these crimes was that Hernandez was accompanied/assisted in his heinous crimes by convicted felons.

By all accounts, Hernandez was a mild mannered, articulate, honor roll student growing up in suburban Bristol, Connecticut. However, these admirable Hernandez 3qualities receded when Hernandez became a teenager. It was at that moment that Hernandez began abusing drugs and associating himself with various gang members and derelicts from the city’s rougher neighborhoods.  Hernandez’s current plight validates the saying, “birds of a feather, flock together.”

In the end, there is much to be learned from Aaron Hernandez’s sad story. Foremost of these lessons is the reality that those who have a bright future must Hernandez 4closely monitor the company they keep. Make no mistake about it, if you associate with friends involved in illicit activities, you will invariably find yourself ensnared in whatever situation that they find themselves in. The sad saga of Aaron Hernandez proves that we are often, needlessly I must add, our own worst enemy.

Alexander Goodwin

#ManhoodRaceCulture

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015.

7 thoughts on “From Patriot to Prisoner: The Fall of Aaron Hernandez and What We Can Learn From It”

  1. Aaron Hernandez’s life is just an example that just because you are placed in a certain environment does not mean you will be exempt from the violence surrounding you. Taking the perspective of an outsider, Aaron had all the attributes to be successful as way as what society defines as successful. However, Hernandez displayed a violent behavior in his teenage years and this continued to his adult years. This violent behavior can not be a shock to his close relatives and friends as he has had an extensive history of being violent before he became wealthy and after he became wealthy.

  2. This ties back into a lecture that was once discussed and I believe that some people are honestly born bad you hear so many stories of people who have it all and give it up within a matter of seconds.. this is honestly like a game of jenga you take all that time building it up to the top where you finally make it and when someone continuously keeps pulling against that tall tower it erupts and eventually falls down.

  3. Raised in the suburbs, seemingly having decent life to then becoming r NFL player with an even better life. What was it that detoured his path to becoming a murdered? Society, the company he kept? His first offence was not even a slap on the wrist, it went unnoticed, causing him to think that it was ok.

  4. It’s crazy how someone who is “living the dream”, could still be aroused with the violent and radical life he once knew. It’s apprentice and almost universal that “once you make, it”, you leave your past life behind you. “Birds of a feather do flock together” and unfortunately Heranadez will be living the rest of his life in a cell, leaving behind a baby girl that will not be raised by her father. Hernandez was a talented and charismatic athlete that I liked watching on Sunday’s. It’s a shame, just to think of what could’ve been with this talented player.

  5. I heard about this story on ESPN. He had a great career and he ruined it for himself and do not feel bad that he may not get granted parole.

  6. A National League Football player serves life in prison without the possibility of parole. A contract in excess of 40 million dollars, I can think of multiple people right now that would never make 40million dollars in there lifetime. From the outside looking in, Hernandez was living the dream. Not only did he have money and fame, he had the opportunity to play one of the greatest games known to man… Football! Why would anyone just throw such a once in a lifetime opportunity away? Maybe “The Life” really isn’t all its cracked up to be.
    “You can have a lot of unhappiness by not having money, but the reverse is no guarantee of happiness.” -Philip Kaufman

  7. Maybe Hernandez is the unsavory character. My ongoing question is what kind of society have we created where killing another human, frequently using a gun, is the solution by choice? We obviously are not in pursuit of this answer. I’m glad he was not given the death penalty.

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