SBD/July 3, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Is Aaron Hernandez' Arrest Painting An Unfair Portrait For NFL Brand?

Hernandez' arrest contributes to a negative perception of the NFL
Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez’ arrest for a murder charge “has become Exhibit A for braying commentators who have painted" the NFL "in stigmas as crude as snake and dagger tattoos,” according to Sally Jenkins of the WASHINGTON POST. Jenkins writes, “If you’re an NFL player, you must want to punch Aaron Hernandez in his dumb-sullen jaw for making his face into the face of the league." The league “constantly deals with stereotype.” It fights an “ongoing war against portrayals of players as gun brandishing, wife-beating, uneducated, morally bankrupt, assaulting criminals.” But a Univ. of Michigan study shows that “80 percent of retired NFL players over the age of 50 have college degrees, compared with 30 percent of the general population.” Jenkins: “So the next time Hernandez appears in court, don’t identify him as an NFL player. He’s not one anymore. And he never was a particularly representative one” (WASHINGTON POST, 7/3). In Richmond, Paul Woody writes the idea that Hernandez “represents the new wave of character and attitude among young players in the NFL is a notion that needs to be quickly and irrefutably debunked.” NFL rosters “aren’t filled with choir boys.” Still, that “doesn’t mean accusations surrounding one player should taint an entire league of players” (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 7/3).

TOP DOLLAR: In Hartford, Paul Doyle noted some autographed Hernandez jerseys “have sold for more than $1,000 on ebay,” as bids on “standard No. 81 jerseys are exceeding $300” (COURANT.com, 7/2). In Providence, Jim Donaldson writes, “I happened to glance at some listings Monday afternoon and was -- What? Appalled? Disgusted? But, sadly, not surprised -- to see Hernandez jerseys the objects of heated bidding” (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 7/3).
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