As soon as the news broke about Aaron Hernandez’s arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd, many people assumed that he was gay or bisexual. Believers in this theory claim that Hernandez’s friendship with members of the Patriots organization and his tattoos helped support their case. However, Joseph M. McPhee has been investigating this since day one and has some amazing evidence that proves Hernandez’s sexuality is other than what it was thought to be (Inside, 2020). It has been suggested that he may have been struggling with his sexual identity and feeling conflicted about his relationships with women and men. Others have speculated that Hernandez may have been struggling with his sexuality in the days leading up to his suicide and that this may have been a factor in his decision to take his own life. This paper will explore Aaron Hernandez’s death and people’s misconceptions that came from his friendship with some members of the Patriots organization and his upbringing.
Aaron Hernandez was a professional football player who played for the New England Patriots. He was born on February 6, 1989, and died on April 19, 2017. While he may be best known as a football player, his life exploded the rails after being accused of murder in 2013. As soon as this happened, many people believed that Hernandez was gay or bisexual. But the problem with this assumption is that there is not one shred of evidence to support it—more than enough explicit claims made by friends and family members claiming that he was upright morally. Since the murder of Odin Lloyd, many people have come forward to state that Hernandez was gay or bisexual. It appears false, but it also prejudices the case against him and makes it seem less serious because he was allegedly gay.
The news coverage of Aaron Hernandez’s death on April 19 focused on his violent crimes, investigations into other possible criminal acts, and speculation about the circumstances of his suicide. But there was another story online: about how people talked about Hernandez’s sexuality (Inside, 2020). On social media, a story emerged that Hernandez’s suicide was prompted by shame about his sexuality. In particular, his sexual preference for young, white, and muscular men. McPhee had written about it in her book Maximum Harm, citing suggestive details such as the fact that Lloyd was found shot six times in the back, but Hernandez’s family had told lawyers they believed he was gay or bisexual.
The surprise acquittal of Aaron Hernandez in the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd has brought about shock and outrage over what many consider a travesty of justice. And now, a new narrative is unfolding in the saga: the former New England Patriots tight end may have been gay—and was possibly executed for it. The conversation continued as McPhee unveiled her investigation into whether Hernandez was gay and on the down low. In February 2017, after a 12-member jury acquitted Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd, his friend, and neighbor in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, it was revealed that he was gay.
Toxic masculinity refers to the notion that men have to conform to a particular version of masculinity to be considered “real men.” As a result, men are not allowed space for expressing emotions and dealing with obstacles in a healthy manner out of fear of being ridiculed by others. The media perpetuates toxic masculinity through hypersexualization, making men feel like they should always act macho and dominant while showing off their bodies. Toxic masculinity seems to be a prevalent issue in our society. This issue is defined by the characteristics of being self-centered, overconfident, and aggressive. In addition to these traits, people who display toxic masculinity are often violent due to their self-centered nature.
Aaron Hernandez was also a person who faced everyday challenges like depression and anxiety, like having an identity crisis about his sexuality. The notions of toxic masculinity perpetuated by the media were a factor in his decisions and eventual death. People talking about Hernandez’s sexuality only reinforced his fears and pushed him away from seeking his needed help. Aaron Hernandez’s suicide came in the wake of the decision by a jury to convict him of murder (Inside, 2020). In the aftermath of news about how Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality played a role in his death, there has been criticism of its portrayal in the media. Theories are being put out that toxic masculinity perpetuated by newspapers, tabloids, and television stations led to his decision to hide his identity and eventually commit suicide.
In conclusion, Aaron Hernandez was a gay man tormented by the secrets of his sexuality and the fear of being found out. His story highlights how the media treats bisexual athletes like objects rather than people. It overlooks their humanity and how they experience pain just like anyone else would when confronted with adversity in life. It is an issue that has long impacted major sports leagues in the US., with many closeted players feeling pressured to hide their sexuality or be subjected to bullying from fans who believe homosexuality should not exist within sports organizations. Since the murder of Odin Lloyd, many people have come forward to state that Hernandez was gay or bisexual.
Inside, K. (2020). The Mind of Aaron Hernandez. Directed by Geno McDermott. Blackfin.