As more and more details come to light about crimes allegedly committed by Aaron Hernandez, the more teams are trying to distance themselves from him. The latest such action came today as the University of Florida removed a brick on the famed “gator walk” honoring the tight end.
From 2007 to 2009 Hernandez played at Florida where he excelled on the field, even winning the Mackey award for top tight end in the nation as a junior in ’09. That same year Hernandez also garnered All-American honors, which the brick located directly outside of the team’s stadium commemorated.
When asked about the school-wide removal of Hernandez related items, the school released a statement that made clear their attitude toward the situation:
“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.”
Removal of the brick is the latest move by the University, which has also been busy removing images of Hernandez from the team’s facilities. But the administration at Florida are not the only ones trying to erase Hernandez; EA sports removed him from their newest Madden and NCAA titles, The Pro Football Hall of Fame removed a photo of him after receiving complaints, and a memorabilia company removed stickers of him from their product line.
If Hernandez has him name cleared in court it is likely that the brick and other items will be replaced, but until that time institutions would rather not risk coming out in support of a possible murderer. Whether you agree with the preemptive judgement of the University and others, it is clear that no one seems to be rushing to Hernandez’s corner.