Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Brookover penned a column about Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots that led to widespread reaction on social media.
The column, which was published late Tuesday, is headlined: “Maybe it’s no coincidence that Aaron Hernandez tragedy happened to Patriots.’’ It basically argues that the Patriots have skirted the rules in the Bill Belichick era, have perfected the art of sweeping things under the rug, including everything surrounding Hernandez, who was convicted in 2015 of murder before his death by suicide in his prison cell in April 2017, and that the Patriots should have known the former tight end would commit grisly crimes.
“The shame of the matter is that the Patriots, and specifically coach Bill Belichick, acted as if they could not possibly know something so awful would ever happen despite the fact that Hernandez had a troubled past at the University of Florida and in his hometown of Bristol, Conn,’’ Brookover wrote.
The column touched a nerve and media and readers alike reacted on social media:
“Philly.com, however, must think their readers are extremely stupid because they went for the Hail Mary of clickbait yesterday with this headline/story,’’ Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina wrote. “I don’t know if this should get chalked up to the fact that Super Bowl week is a complete disaster from a media standpoint and you need to drum up takes every single day for one game or if someone thought this was just clever cross-city Super Bowl trash talking, but, holy cow, this is bad.’’
Here’s a sampling of other reaction:
The Patriots were supposed to know that Aaron Hernandez was going to be a murderer?— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 31, 2018
First Patriots superfan Mark Wahlberg failed to stop 9/11, and now the team is to blame for Aaron Hernandez for being a murderer. Only a matter of time before the Pats are classified as a terrorist organization— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 31, 2018
Blaming the Patriots for Aaron Hernandez is 100% unreasonable. Sure there may have been red flags, but teams draft talented players with red flags on their character all the time. No one ever predicted they were drafting a murderer. https://t.co/sJfjxv2Gqe— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) January 31, 2018
Imagine having the opportunity of a lifetime to cover the Super Bowl and you use it to write a completely irrelevant article about Aaron Hernandez.— Sean O'Brien (@SeanNeutron) January 31, 2018
Interesting that the guy who *wrote the book* on Aaron Hernandez said he would assign little to no blame on the Patriots for what happened. https://t.co/69ocvK1hnw— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) January 31, 2018
The always classy Philly coming in with a scorching hot Aaron Hernandez take. https://t.co/JCIGIr2Ati— WDW Vacationer (@WDWVacationer) January 31, 2018
For the record, Roger Goodell never suspended Aaron Hernandez for murder, but suspended Tom Brady for playing football in cold weather.— Deep Threat (@DeeepThreat) January 31, 2018
Man, this https://t.co/U3m3pLvsJg Aaron Hernandez take is a major reach.— Felix 15-3 (@xxTaKyoNxx) January 31, 2018
Stay classy @phillydotcom and Philly in general. On Super Bowl weekend you are bringing up Hernandez.— Michael Wesenberg (@MWesenberg12) January 31, 2018
"Once he no longer could help them, it became a sin to even speak the name Aaron Hernandez." - had nothing to do with the fact he was convicted/charged with murder? https://t.co/yanU3wgAmF
It’s stuff like this that makes me feel like eagles fans don’t deserve it still... all of a sudden on their moral high horse... lets write articles on Hernandez, I’d worry about the eagles and this year. Hard to defend philly fanbase and media tbh https://t.co/xKbARoD5BN— AE (@theguyAE) January 31, 2018
Philly blaming the Patriots for downfall of Aaron Hernandez and (implicitly) the crimes he committed.— Old Saito (@PeterRMaher) January 31, 2018
Gonna need more than that to get the boys off kilter this weekend. https://t.co/MurvAWSh2D