Forgetting the criminal saga of Aaron Hernandez won’t be easy, even decades from now. However, his alma mater, the University of Florida, is the midst of removing photos and images of the incarcerated former New England Patriots tight end from its campus, according to ESPN.
According to ESPN, “On Thursday, the school worked to remove the last -- and most publicly visible -- reminder of Hernandez. Florida will dig up and remove a brick outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium honoring Hernandez, a former All-American at the school.
“The school began distancing itself from Hernandez on June 26 when he was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. The school immediately started removing photographs of Hernandez located in the locker room, team area, football offices and facility and throughout the stadium.”
"We didn't feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez. We put together an immediate plan after the initial news broke to remove his likeness and name in various private and public areas in the facility, such as the South Endzone team area, locker room, football offices, Heavener Complex, Kornblau Lobby and the brick display entrance to the football facility," the school said in a statement.
ESPN also reported, “The Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, removed an award-winning photograph of Hernandez from public view after receiving complaints from visitors. Electronic Arts said it took Hernandez out of its ‘Madden NFL 25’ and ‘NCAA Football 14’ video games. Panini, a trading card and memorabilia company, also removed Hernandez stickers from 500,000 of its sticker books, which were already produced but had yet to hit the shelves.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke to reporters about Hernandez for the first time Wednesday, and said, "As the coach of the team, I'm primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation... Overall, I'm proud of the hundreds of players that have come through this program, but I'm personally disappointed and hurt in a situation like this."