Florida Gators erase Aaron Hernandez →

Jul 31, 2013 •

This doesn’t feel “right” to me for some reason and I’m trying to reason it out via this blog post.

History is full of “good” people who went on to do very bad things, and “bad” people who went on to do very good things. Their past is often very critical to understanding who or what they’ve become. Obviously we shouldn’t be putting up any new monuments to a man accused of murder, although its also important to remember that he’s innocent until proven guilty, but is it right to attempt to sanitize history by removing as many traces as possible of where he was and what he did?

Regardless of the reason, sanitizing history seems like a bad idea in general. Its either just wrong (i.e. its lying to pretend something didn’t happen) or it dooms us to potentially repeating our mistakes, often both. Aaron Hernandez wasn’t an accused murderer while he was playing at the University of Florida. By all accounts he was a great young football player who helped that school’s football program to great success (and as a University of Kentucky fan it pains me even to write that). Does what he did now change that? Or is there something in his time at Florida or in the distance he traveled between there and the NFL that has something to do with what he became?

Where previously the University of Florida was capitalizing on the positive publicity of what he did previously as a player, they’re now trying to protect themselves from the negative publicity of who Aaron Hernandez is currently. And while thats understandable and not necessarily even wrong, I think going so far as to cut a brick out of the sidewalk is maybe a bit too far. Ultimately I’m open to being convinced differently, this is definitely a strong opinion, weakly held for me.