The New England Patriots and their fans continue to erase any lasting vestige of Aaron Hernandez from their collective memories. However, a sordid few have gone the other way, gobbling up jerseys at absurd prices.
The Boston Globe's Billy Baker reports on an odd occurrence taking place on eBay. It seems jerseys bearing the number and name of the former Patriots tight end are going for ridiculous prices at the moment.
UPDATE: Monday, July 1, 8:15 p.m. ET
Well, color me stunned and depressed, because Hernandez jerseys are fetching a far more absurd amount than previously reported.
CBS Sports reports some bids are going as high as $1,000 on eBay. One winning bid for an autographed jersey was a whopping $1,200.
End of Update---
On June 26, Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder as well as five other other gun-related charges, leading many to distance themselves from an athlete who once ignited cheers from the Foxboro faithful.
As the report mentions, the Patriots are even allowing fans to return their Hernandez jerseys for that of another player, giving fans the chance to ditch those duds that are suddenly a depressing sight in their collections.
Once again, we are reminded that there is a market for just about anything, because prices for all things Hernandez are soaring on eBay.
John Lamothe is one fan who decided to ditch his Hernandez gear, so he decided to sell it on eBay, a decision that garnered him a whopping $289.
Baker describes a burgeoning market for items tied to a man charged with a heinous crime:
One man on Craigslist is offering to buy “anything” related to Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On eBay, heavy bidding is often driving prices for items well above what the sellers paid for them. More than 1,700 people have viewed a Hernandez jersey listed by Ben Kent, a Pats fan from Virginia Beach. The bidding is up to $227. He paid $50 for it.
Baker continues with the obvious question, one that eludes both the reporter and those selling off items tied to the disgraced athlete: Why?
Hernandez didn't pull off a remarkable act of kindness, score a pivotal touchdown or any other wonderful act that might garner all this high-priced frenzy. No, he is being charged with killing another human being, which is sadly prompting some people to reach deep into their pockets.
There is really no other reason I can see, which makes every single purchase a deplorable one. Of course, Hernandez is innocent until proven guilty, but that isn't the impetus behind all these cyber purchases.
Suddenly, many who wouldn't think to own a Hernandez jersey a week ago now have their interest and desire piqued.
Baker also writes about Jeff Brown and his nine-year-old son Conor.
Conor wanted his father to wait for a year to sell his own jersey because the market for it would presumably soar if the allegations surrounding Hernandez turned into a guilty verdict.
His father relays the conversation: "He said, 'Dad, there are a lot of crazy people in the world who would probably want it if that happens.'"
While the father dispatched his son's astute market analysis and sold the jersey immediately, Conor is on to something here.
Only crazy people would drop hard-earned money on an empty jersey, tied to a man who may have just wasted some amazing talent—a man who may have committed a reprehensible crime.
The sentiment that one man's garbage is another's treasure applies to this unfortunate story.
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