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Aaron Hernandez:Netflix Series Review

Aaron Hernandez was a renowned football player who played for the New England Patriots. Recently, a documentary came out in regards to the killing of Odin Llyod in 2013. At first, I was not quite familiar with Aaron Hernandez, I only knew that he was a former tight end for the New England Patriots. Yet, this documentary offered an inside scoop in the apparent double life of Hernandez, from his childhood to blowing kisses to his daughter on the phone while in jail. Everything about Hernandez was aid out on the table in this documentary, leaving it up to the audience to decipher what kind of man he really was. 

Aaron Hernandez grew up in a two parent household, including an older brother and hardworking father in Bristol, Connecticut. Following in their father’s footsteps, Aaron and his brother DJ continued to play football. Aaron was set to play football at UCONN just like his father and brother, until an unfortunate event occured in 2006. Hernandez’s father died during a Hernia surgery, bringing shock to the family and their community.

His close friend and highschool quarterback, Dennis SanSoucie, was featured in the documentary, and evidently exploited the fact that Hernandez struggled with his sexuality, which held contriubtion to his future suicide. He spoke about how they had a very strict upbringing, and how different sexualities were frowned upon. If his father were to find out that Aaron liked men, San Soucie stated, “he would be rolling in his grave”. 

As far as statements goes, Hernandez’s former teammates were not interviewed for the documentary. During the time of the trial, they were forbidden to speak on the case and Hernandez’s character. As the documentary notes, Hernandez committed suicide on the same day the Patriots visited Donald Trump’s White House to celebrate their fifth Super Bowl championship. The timing symbolizes an eerie, yet appropriate bookend to Hernandez’s tragic double life.

The support from Hernandez’s family never wavered throughout the whole story. His late cousin, Tanya, refused to take the stand to testify against her cousin. Even if it meant going to jail for a few months, despite having three boys and cancer. And Shayanna, his fiance at the time, denied knowing anything about the murder or murder weapon. Whether or not she was telling the truth is not indicated in the documentary, but her loyalty goes unnoticed. 

The documentary tries to offer a synopsis of Hernandez’s mental state, including his diagnosis of CTE after his death. Sadly, people refuse to believe that football and repeated getting concussions could be an excuse to committ murder. 

Personally, I feel as though revealing his sexuality draws away from the documentary and its purpose. Although it’s 2020 and people are becoming more inclusive, using particular pronouns to address people does not take away from the fact that this was a shocker. People are under the impression that playing football makes you masculine. So hearing that a 6 foot 2 football player with a wife and kid, was also gay. No one would ever expect that from Hernandez, not his former playmates, family, friends, or his fans. There is no clear reasoning as to why the documentary was shot. For anyone who followed the story, it reiterated everything people already knew about the player, with a sprinkle of other things. The “friend” of Hernandez was too eager to talk about his deepest and darkest parts about him. Somethings are meant to stay between friends, no matter living or dead.

Briana Previlon is a junior at Hampton University where she is pursuing a major in Political Science on the Pre-Law track. When she is not writing, you can find her listening to music, watching Harry Potter, or hanging out with her friends.
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