Thursday, July 25, 2013
THE RUSH TO ELIMINATE AARON HERNANDEZ
Contract terminated, jersey exchanged, and the All-America plaque he earned at Florida,
removed. At the rate everyone is trying rinse away Aaron Hernandez from their history, you
kind of get the U.S. Government is going to announce they are deleting the social security
number of Hernandez and make like he never existed.
I'm not defending the former tight end of the New England Patriots and Florida Gators, he's
probably a really bad guy, but the swiftness in which people are trying to make him disappear
is a bit surprising. People want to talk the good talk, but in this country, innocent until proven
guilty is about as laughable as Anthony Weiner's username, "Carlos Danger." In the court of
public opinion, it's always been guilty until proven innocent. Accuse, convict, and ask questions
As much as a slam dunk the case appears to be against Hernandez, most of us don't know if
he really pulled the trigger any more than we know what kind of role Ray Lewis played when
he was charged with murder in Atlanta 13 years ago. We don't have all the facts yet, and as
we've seen many times before, getting past the shadow of reasonable doubt for a jury is not
always that easy, no matter how the prosecution lines things up for them.
Fans in New England lined up to exchange their Aaron Hernandez jersey for a new one less
than a week after the Patriots cut him only 40 minutes after his arrest for murder. Florida took
down pictures of Hernandez in their football facility and didn't want to see the All-America
plaque of their former tight end as they walked into the stadium, yes, their beloved, "Swamp."
Innocent until proven guilty? Yeah, right.
In 2009, NFL veteran receiver Donte Stallworth was drunk out of his mind and reportedly
under the influence of marijuana when he killed a man in his car while driving home from
partying at 7 a.m. He spent a whopping 23 days in jail and was suspended for a year by
commissioner Roger Goodell. But when his time was up, the Baltimore Ravens were there
waiting with a contract. And when the squeaky-clean, morally correct Patriots needed some
depth at receiver last year, they signed up Stallworth. Hypocrisy? The 'Patriot Way'?
Desperate? All three, perhaps.
Interesting. Does it really matter how you kill a man? Oh, right, Stallworth was drunk, so
he gets an easier pass. His alma mater, Tennessee, didn't scrub him from their program in
32 seconds despite being responsible for another man's death.
I just find it amazing how Stallworth is still in the league, smiling, and cashing nice checks
after he killed a man. Oh, right, he copped a plea and served just over three weeks in jail.
If Hernandez is found not guilty, which is a possibility, (see the Zimmerman and Casey
Anthony cases) and he walks, what is the University of Florida going to do? Drill back
in the plaque and hang his pictures back up? Boy, that would be something to see.
This is all just another great lesson for us. No matter what our forefathers said and the courts
have tried to enforce, one is never innocent until proven guilty. In reality, it's the other way
around. And it's been that way for a long, long time.