The New England Patriots’ White House visit will go on as scheduled Wednesday afternoon. Bob Ley believes that is a bad idea.
The ESPN commentator expressed incredulity that the team would go through with its Super Bowl LI celebration after former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell of an apparent suicide early Wednesday worming.
“I am stunned — stunned — that they’re going to go ahead with the ceremony today,” Ley said Wednesday on “SportsCenter.” “And I understand the focus of football very well, I think, as a civilian, and the pride the Patriots rightfully take in what they’ve achieved with this championship. … There are two major stories today, unless, God forbid, something else tragic happens on the national scene. They are the Hernandez death of apparent suicide and the Patriots’ visit to the White House. And in light of everything we’ve talked about, they will forever be linked.”
It’s been nearly four years since Hernandez was under contract with the Patriots. The team released him in June 2013, shortly after he was arrested in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez later was convicted of that murder and was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., at the time of his death. He was 27.
The Patriots as of yet have declined to make a statement regarding Hernandez’s death, with a team spokesman saying only that the organization is aware of it.
Thumbnail photo via The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports Images