Thursday, July 25, 2013

Innocent until proven filthy

The University of Florida has removed the last visible connection between the school and celebrated former player Aaron Hernandez. During his time in Gainesville, Hernandez collected many awards (All-SEC, the SEC's first Mackey Award winner given to the nation's top tight end) and recognition for which the Gators set in stone so that visitors, fans, recruits and alumni could remember the star for years to come. A permanent semi-permanent reminder of his excellence.
"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," the school said in a statement.
Hernandez's likeness and his name will no longer tarnish Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Really, what other choice did the school have? After all, they're just following suit.
After Hernandez was charged with murder, he was released from the Patriots. Several other organizations have also distanced themselves from Hernandez.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, removed an award-winning photograph of Hernandez from public view after receiving complaints from visitors. Electronic Arts said it took Hernandez out of its "Madden NFL 25" and "NCAA Football 14" video games. Panini, a trading card and memorabilia company, also removed Hernandez stickers from 500,000 of its sticker books, which were already produced but had yet to hit the shelves.