Last week, inmate W106228 began serving a life sentence at MCI-Cedar Junction Prison in Massachusetts. Inmate W106228, also known as former 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 restaurant, 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 qualities 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 closely 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.
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015.