Aaron Hernandez (1989 – 2017) was an American football tight end in the National Football League (NFL). He was a top player during his three seasons with the New England Patriots, but his career ended abruptly when he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013. His three-year contract with the Patriots was for $19.5 million, and could have paid up to $40 million by 2018.
Convicted of the murder in April 2017, he was found hanging from a bed sheet attached to a window in his cell at Massachusetts’s Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, serving life without parole.
Hernandez is the subject of a two-part documentry on Oxygen, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, which looks at the football player’s secret double life. We find out that Hernandez was gay and struggled with his sexuality. In the documentary, lawyer George Leontire, who is openly gay and was a member of Hernandez’s defense team, said Hernandez spoke at length about his sexuality and was conflicted about it. Leontire:
”This man clearly was gay. He acknowledged it. Acknowledged the immense pain that it caused him.”
His college girlfriend, Alyssa Anderson, claims he had a relationship with a man while at the University of Florida. Hernandez denied it when she asked him about it. He later acknowledged her suspicions. Hernandez never spoke about his sexuality publicly. He was engaged to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, with whom he had a daughter. Jenkins was indicted on a perjury charge in connection with Lloyd’s killing.
Not the first time he was in trouble with the law, in 2012 Hernandez had been investigated in connection with a double murder in Boston’s South End. Two immigrants from the Canary Islands were killed by gunshots fired into their vehicle. In May 2014, Hernandez was indicted on murder charges for the killings, with additional charges of armed assault and attempted murder associated with shots fired at the surviving occupants in the vehicle. The trial began March 1, 2017. Hernandez was acquitted of the murders and most of the other charges but found guilty of illegal possession of a handgun.
According to TMZ, law enforcement officials in Massachusetts believed Hernandez killed Lloyd because he knew about football player’s gayness.
The first part of the Oxygen documentary aired last night, March 17. The second episode is tonight, Sunday, March 18. They will both be streaming on Oxygen later this month.