Lauded-NFL-star-turned-diddly-murderer Aaron Hernandez has brought down his alleged murder count to just two. In an oddly humorous trial, the defense did everything in their power to channel the touchstone “Our client may have been at the shooting; but he did not shoot the dep-u-ty” in an attempt to prove innocence (Eric Clapton v. The State of Mississippi).
All of which leaves one puzzling question: How can somebody with an apparent criminal past be so terrible at murder? So terrible that the closing argument of the defense was, “look at all the evidence our client left at the scene; he couldn’t have done it, because no one is that dumb.” The wad of Hubba Bubba left spat on the body, the DNA on the blunt, the rental car registered under his name. The rental car registered under his name. Good heavens, Aaron, if there is one thing you should have retained from your stint in Foxborough, it was certainly how to execute a person game plan.
What should not go unnoticed was the heroic role Shayanna Jenkins played in the trial. Battling through lingering injuries of selective amnesia and immunity, Jenkins showed a resiliency deserving of a purple heart. “Mrs. Jenkins, do you know where the defendant kept the gun?” “In the house.” “Where in the house?” “The kitchen.” “Where in the kitchen?” “In the drawer ... the junk drawer.” It is times like this where we as a society must not rush to judgement; keeping a firearm near the silverware isn't malicious, it is a sign of a young couple blinded by love, and who hasn't killed someone for stepping on their shoes in a night club? Find me someone who hasn’t killed a lifelong friend in an industrial yard and I’ll show you a liar. Was it a response that’s a little irrational? Perhaps.
But it is good to see athletes break the fourth wall of prewritten comments and public appearances after altercations—see Janay Rice’s “I regret the role I played in this incident”—and take things into their own hands, to be the change you want to see in the world. Aaron Hernandez’s crime wasn’t the murder, it was being dumb enough to get caught.