Aaron Hernandez, the NFL star convicted of murder in 2015, committed suicide by hanging today in his Massachusetts prison cell. He was 27 and his shocking suicide came just days after he had been acquitted in a separate double homicide case.
Hernandez' death sparked a massive outpouring of support for the late Hernandez and his family. NFL players, coaches, and celebrities all showed their support for the much maligned former football player online, either on Facebook or Twitter. But many fans didn't appreciate the gesture.
Even rapper Snoop Dogg has drawn the ire of the internet after he tweeted a simple screenshot of the story about Hernandez's suicide and the phrase "this is sad". According to The Daily Mail, fans have been responding with anger, responding with vitriol surprising many. "The guilt of getting off for 2 murders got to him," replied one person. "Are you serious? Dude was a Menace to Society!" another tweeted.
It wasn't just Snoop Dogg mourning Hernandez' death, and he wasn't the only one who faced criticism and backlash because of it.
Civil Rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. tweeted, "Pray for the soul and family of Aaron Hernandez." Former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, former University of Florida teammate Mike Pouncey, and defensive end Claude Pelon all took to Instagram and Twitter to express their condolences for Hernandez's family and the loss of their friend to suicide.
Xavier Nixon described Hernandez as a "homie". Pouncey wrote a heartfelt Instagram message, describing Hernandez as a "friend and brother". Cromartie was more focused on Hernandez's case: "I thought he was about to appeal his case. Wow," he wrote.
Still others took the opportunity to point out the incongruities surrounding Hernandez's death. The New York Daily News reported people questioning the circumstances around the suicide. "Not sayin he's innocent but it do look kind of funny when a guy who just won 2 murder cases is found dead in his cell in general population"
But for every condolence message, a fan was there to put the stars in check. "Go out like what?" one replied to Xavier Nixon. "He killed himself and he's a murderer. He took the cowards way out because he is a coward."
"I am looking through ur (sic) tweets and I do not see a tweet praying for the poor victims he killed and their families". Even Jesse Jackson could not escape getting dragged on Twitter.
"One less criminal makes the world a better place," wrote another.
The backlash Snoop Dogg felt was particularly dramatic, as dozens of fans took to Twitter to correct the rapper.
At this time, Snoop Dogg hasn't responded and the investigation into Hernandez' death is ongoing.