Things That Matter

All Of Aaron Hernandez’s Secrets Came To The Light After His Suicide

After one of the strangest murder trials to involve an NFL athlete since OJ Simpson, Aaron Hernandez was found dead last week in his cell in an apparent suicide. During Hernandez’s trial for the murder of two men in 2012, his previous frenemy Alexander Bradley — who Hernandez apparently shot in the face (causing him to lose an eye) — testified against him, but it wasn’t enough to convict him. Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder, all while serving a life sentence for another murder, which is only a part of Hernandez’s complicated story, if you can believe it. Here’s what we know after Hernandez’s death:

1. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell with a bed sheet.

CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

2. The floors of his cell were soapy and he was found naked.

According to corrections officers, it was done on purpose, so that if he changed his mind last minute, he’d have no choice but to follow through, as the floor would be too slippery to gain footing. He also made sure no one would be able to enter the cell to stop him, jamming the door with cardboard.


3. He had a reference to biblical text written on his forehead.

According to CBS Sports, Hernandez was found with the title of a famous bible verse written on his forehead in blood-red marker. The specific bible verse was John 3:16.


4. His bible was left open to the page with John 3:16 on it.

Credit: Wikimedia

John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Those in the Christian faith see this as a verse that speaks to God’s love and his extreme sacrifice.


5. Markings were found on his hands and feet.

Signifying that perhaps he thought he was being crucified, like Jesus, as an innocent. Reports also said law enforcement was looking into whether he was smoking K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, right before he took his life.


6. His suicide came just days after his acquittal for a double murder and on the same day the Patriots visited The White House.

Some have found it suspicious, including his lawyer and agent, both of whom were surprised that he’d taken his life only five days after being acquitted of a double murder. After the acquittal, it was assumed by several news sources that an appeal would be filed for the murder he had already been convicted of and was serving a life sentence for.

7. His brain has been donated to science.

CTE Scans
CREDIT: *Scans of several NFL player brains in CTE research, not of Hernandez’s.
Via: CNN / Bennet Omalu

To add to the strangeness of it all, within a day of his suicide it was revealed that his brain had been donated to research on CTE a disorder affecting NFL players and athletes. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that some researchers think led to the suicides of Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson.


8. Hernandez left behind three suicide notes — this information wasn’t immediately divulged to the public.

CREDIT: (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

One was to his fiancé, another to his daughter and a third to his prison lover, confirming suspicions that Hernandez was bisexual. During Hernandez’s first murder case, investigators speculated that Hernandez’s attempt to hide his sexuality may have played a part in the motive.


9. The secrecy of his bisexuality is now being considered as one of the main motives for his previous murder conviction.

LLoyd Hernandez
Via: Wikipedia / Jeffrey Beall / Flickr

Investigators are now saying that the murder of Odin Lloyd may have occurred so Hernandez could keep his sexuality secret. Lloyd had allegedly called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which Hernandez took for a gay slur, as one co-defendant told detectives in the case. As Newsweek reported, Hernandez’s long time high-school lover was compensated handsomely shortly before Hernandez’s arrest for Lloyd’s murder in a possible attempt to keep his sexuality a secret.

Michele McPhee of Newsweek reported on an interesting detail about Hernandez’s finances:

“Hernandez’s alleged longtime male lover, the high school friend, was interviewed extensively by authorities after Lloyd’s murder, and was forced to testify in front of a grand jury. Law enforcement officials also say Hernandez moved a large amount of money into three accounts shortly before his arrest for the Lloyd killing: one account was for his fiancée; a second was for his daughter; the third, where the most money was moved, was for that friend.”

Although some may find the lengths to which Hernandez would go to keep his sexuality secret — paying people off or even killing them – as extreme measures, the stress, the denial and the pain that can occur from suppressing or hiding one’s sexual identity can be dangerous to a person’s health.

According to a piece in LGBT Weekly, some of the many harmful things that can occur from the stress of hiding one’s sexuality, something Hernandez may have felt compelled to do as an NFL star, are dissociative identity disorder, chronic depression, self-disgust, self-hatred, low self-esteem and negative self-view, alcohol & drug-abuse and suicidal thoughts.


10. Apparently, right before committing suicide, a $50,000 watch was gifted to the family of his prison lover.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 11.10.16 AM
Via: Northbridge Police

His prison lover has recently been identified as Kyle Kennedy, a 22-year-old, in prison for armed robbery according to a piece in the Daily Mail.


11. Kennedy is now on what is called “eyeball suicide watch.”

People were shocked when Aaron Hernandez took his own life, it’s no wonder watching Kennedy has become a priority with officers on him 24/7.


Aaron Hernandez left a mess in the wake of his suicide, unsolved murders, saddened loved ones, an undecided estate, and there’s no telling what is still yet to be uncovered in this case. We have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of it all. We may never know what was going through his mind when he decided to do what he did, but we can’t help but wonder what strange twists are left to be uncovered.


[H/T] AARON HERNANDEZ’S SEX LIFE PROBED AS MURDER MOTIVE, POLICE SOURCE SAYS

READ: Those Close To Aaron Hernandez Don’t Believe He Committed Suicide

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Drew Brees Apologizes After Making Statement Criticizing Protesting For Racial Justice

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Drew Brees Apologizes After Making Statement Criticizing Protesting For Racial Justice

Sean Gardner / Getty Images

Thousands of people have been protesting in the streets of major U.S. cities for days demanding justice after George Floyd was killed. People are demanding a change to police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement is at the center of that fight.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not a fan of kneeling in protest.

In an interview with Yahoo! Business, Brees spoke on the peaceful kneeling protests. While thousands of people continue to march and protest to demand justice, Brees gave a sound bite that has not done him any favors.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said in the interview. “And is everything right with our country right now? No. It’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution.”

Brees seems to have missed why protesters were kneeling during the national anthem.

ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon took issue with Brees’s statement for calling into question someone’s patriotism if they kneel during the national anthem.

“I believe the apology. I believe it was as sincere as and as heartfelt as he could possibly be and it reflects that,” Wilbon said in an interview. “That’s not my point today and I’m angry today, Tony. Even Drew Brees in his apology, he doesn’t address what it was that ticked off so many people, including me, which is essentially the questioning of anybody, and let’s say that anybody in this case if black people, who want to take a knee and have a protest during the national anthem when the flag is raised at sporting events.”

Brees apologized on Instagram after receiving backlash for his comments.

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I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

His apology has been received with mixed reviews. Some people have come to Brees’s support claiming his message has been misunderstood. Others, like Wilbon see the apology as a half-apology coming from a need to preserve a public image, not a genuine reflection on his actions.

One of the people to have forgiven Brees is teammate Michael Thomas.

Michael Thomas is a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints and he was one of the first to come to Brees’s defense after he issued his apology. Several other teammates came to his defense and all of them expressed both a disappointment at Brees’s insensitive comments and a willingness to forgive him after see his apology and feeling it genuine.

What do you think about Brees’s comments?

READ: White Teens Are Mocking The George Floyd Killing On Social Media And This Is Why We Need #BlackLivesMatter

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Entertainment

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

The NFL has made some limited successes in breaking into an international audience. Part of that strategy has been playing games abroad. Mexico City and London have hosted several NFL games to bring the American sport to international crowds. However, like everything else we love, the NFL is canceling these games because COVID-19 is still a thing.

The NFL is canceling its London and Mexico City games for the 2020 season.

The NFL is canceling the games because of the uncertainty surrounding travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.2 million Americans and killed more than 77,000. The U.S. has the highest infection and death numbers in the world from the pandemic.

Officials for the NFL made the decision to move the games from abroad for the overall goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico, and UK,” NFL executive vice president, chief strategy and growth officer Christopher Halpin said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.”

As some countries begin to ease some of their lockdown measures, the fear of a second wave is looming over the global community. Some countries have already seen some second spikes that they have fought to combat.

International fans of the sport are saddened by the news but understand.

The international games are the only chance for foreign fans to enjoy American football. With a few games a year, these fans really look forward to finally being able to don their favorite team’s jersey to cheer them on to victory.

“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL,” Halpin said in a statement. “We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”

Even American fans are sad that the teams are missing out on their international games.

If there is one thing that football fans love it is more football. The international games would play in the morning in the U.S. offering a full day of football before Saturday Night Foot. It is hard to overdo something that you love and football is something that people who love really love.

There was one thing of which all of the fans on social media agreed.

The Jaguars in an international game? For some fans, it was too much to understand. The Jacksonville team is not the most popular in the league and their season is calling for 16 away games this season.

READ: A Man Was Arrested By ICE After Criticizing Their Policies So Two NFL Players Bailed Him Out