- African leader cancels trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag when Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Iran’s Rouhani: Israel, Islamic State are ‘tumors derived from the same origin’
- Rep. Tim Murphy: GOP knew HealthCare.gov would be an ‘unmitigated disaster’
- Political speak: Planned Parenthood dumps ‘pro-choice’ for ‘women’s health’
- U.S. attorney warns Cuomo not to interfere with anti-corruption probes
- Investigators reach Ukraine jet crash site
- Ohio gives Obama a thumbs down; Hillary Clinton tops GOP all-stars: poll
FENNO: Erasing Aaron Hernandez an empty gesture
Question of the Day
At Florida, his name and likeness were removed from the locker room, football offices and a team area. Saws cut away the black slab at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium commemorating Hernandez’s All-America season in 2009. A blank piece of rock replaced it. Like Hernandez was never there.
Even his high school, Bristol Central in Bristol, Conn., wiped him from the school’s trophy case. Plaques, trophies, jerseys bearing his name were removed, according to The Providence Journal.
A trading card company replaced stickers of Hernandez with the wholesome and noodle-armed Tim Tebow.
“We’re going about our business,” one Patriots player told CBS Sports, “like Aaron Hernandez never existed.”
But is the collective revision of history a good thing?
Sure, no right-minded store would host a rack of Hernandez jerseys or sell his autograph. Never mind the exorbitant prices jerseys now fetch on sites like eBay, like the $7,500 asked for one game-used one scrawled with his autograph. But there’s a line between celebrating someone whose life, regardless of guilt or innocence, has drifted tragically off course, and running from an uncomfortable reality.
The scramble to erase Hernandez sidesteps difficult questions about how this happened in favor of a quick public relations fix. Cutting away a brick or shredding hundreds of jerseys is an easy short-term solution. No one will complain.
But what if Hernandez is acquitted? Does the brick go back up? Does he return to video games? Is he rehabilitated?
The gestures are ultimately empty in a world consumed by documenting every minute. We can’t airbrush Hernandez out of his time with Florida and the Patriots. We can’t pretend they didn’t happen. We can’t pretend a man charged with murder wasn’t recruited and cheered and drafted and signed and lauded there. We can’t pretend he didn’t catch 175 passes for the Patriots any easier than pretending he wasn’t hauled from his home in handcuffs.
Those environments, for better or worse, helped create the man in the jail cell today. He can’t be erased. He exists.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Declassified cables from Berlin Wall tell tale of drama, dare,
- Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit
- Jay Gruden's long and winding road to Washington
- FENNO: Championship game provides an opportunity to listen to those who play
- FENNO: For Redskins, nonsensical is the new normal
Latest Blog Entries
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- NAPOLITANO: Is the president incompetent or lawless?
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world