Aaron Hernandez Jerseys: Murder Investigation Increases Demand For Memorabilia
Aaron Hernandez, the disgraced former New England Patriots tight end who is now facing first-degree murder and multiple weapons charges, may be banished from the NFL for the time being, but people still want to buy his jersey.
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According to reports, Hernandez Patriots jerseys are fetching hundreds of dollars in auctions, largely because the NFL has halted sales of his jersey in stores. John Lamothe, one of the sellers of Hernandez products, told The Boston Globe, "I thought about giving it to Goodwill," he said, "but I didn't think anybody would want it." Expecting a return of about $15, Lamothe was shocked to sell it for a whopping $289.
Another seller quoted in the Globe, Lynn L'Heureaux said, "I can't think of any reason why people would want it. They might think it will go up in value later on, and maybe it will, but I'm not interested. I just don't want it in my possession. I want to use the money to buy a jersey that reflects my pride in the Patriots."
16-year-old Brett Iannazzo is selling his jersey because Hernandez, who was once one of his favorite Patriots, is now persona non grata. "I loved Hernandez. I had his rookie jersey. Whenever I got a double in baseball, I'd do his end zone dance; take out the briefcase and make it rain," he said. "Now, I'm done with that. I'm done with him."
The NFL has made efforts to wipe itself clean of the Hernandez fiasco. Sales of his jersey have been stopped, and many Boston stores are offering free exchanges in which fans can trade in their Hernandez jerseys for new Patriots ones.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James explains: "We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore. We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player's jersey will be well received by parents."