Patriots

Aaron Hernandez’s life and death were tragic, by his doing

Aaron Hernandez misses a catch against the Ravens during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

COMMENTARY

Aaron Hernandez is a tragedy, but a self-inflicted one. The manner in which he lived his life and how he ended it Wednesday morning when he hanged himself by a bed sheet in his prison cell in Shirley is one and the same: He did this, every last brutal plot-twist, to himself.

How can anyone muster genuine sympathy for a 27-year-old sociopathic “Scarface” wannabe who was convicted of one murder and had an ancillary role in at least two others just because once upon a time he had a breathtaking gift for making the first tackler miss?

Feel for the family of Odin Lloyd, whom Hernandez was convicted in April 2015 of murdering two years earlier.

Feel for Hernandez’s 4-year-old daughter, brought to court last week to demonstrate the killer’s human side, a little girl who will grow up to discover that her biological father could not or would not subdue his evil tendencies for the sake of being a dad.

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But there should no paeans to an athlete dying young. This wasn’t promise lost. This was promise deliberately snuffed out in the same deliberate way in which Hernandez and his toadies discarded Lloyd’s body behind an office park.

Hernandez knew right from wrong; he pandered to the Krafts with a charitable donation after signing a contract extension, selectively turned up the charm, which he possessed in abundance, and, as we learned during his months in court, always tried to cover up the wrongs. But he never stopped choosing them.

It’s not just that Hernandez could have had it all had he resisted the urge to kill; he did have it all. The sweet McMansion in North Attleboro, a beautiful child with a woman who loved him, adulation as a distinctively talented player in the midst of the greatest prolonged football dynasty in history, and the requisite riches ($12 million bonus, $16 million guaranteed) that come with the coveted second NFL contract.